PUTRAJAYA, May 1 – The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) promised to change civil servants’ pay scheme to weekly from monthly when it takes power, potentially giving civil servants an extra four weeks’ pay annually, in a move to get votes from the 1.4 million-strong civil service.
De facto PR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim delivered his Labour Day’s address here, to greet thousands of supporters at the same ground in Precinct 3 where PAS’ spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was given a historic welcome last week.
“Our approach is to give benefits and rewards to defend the fates of workers, equivalent to their sacrifices and work load. This is the principles that is not understood by our friends on the other side,” Anwar said to the crowd here who welcomed him with standing ovations and “Reformasi” chants earlier.
PR’s pledges for civil servants, called “Declaration of Putrajaya 2013”, were delivered to Anwar by its author PAS’ Datuk Husam Musa, who is making a bid for the federal administrative capital in the May 5 polls.
Civil servants are also slated to get interest-free home loans for first-time home buyers, and earlier pension age – 45 for women and 50 for men – should PR win Election 2013.
PR also pledged to reduce the promotion period from 15 to 10 years. Workers union will also be allowed, and any political interference in the civil service will be stopped.
Earlier on, Anwar praised the civil service for contributing towards his good record while in the Ministry of Education and the Treasury, but lamented that the workers have been demoted due to political interference and use of foreign consultants.
He also criticised the Public Service Remuneration Scheme (SBPA) which was introduced on January last year. It was scrapped just after two months, after being criticised for only benefiting top government servants while leaving the majority of the civil service with paltry salary hikes.
“This shows the attitude of Umno-BN leaders, they have always sided with the rich people above,” said Anwar.
It was revealed last year that under the SBPA, the Chief Secretary would draw a salary of RM60,000 while those in the “Premier Service” category were to rake in RM36,000, a vast difference from those in the lower pay grades, some of whom were only given increments as low as RM1.70.
The then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced that the existing Malaysian Remuneration System (SSM) would be maintained with improvements, where salaries of the Chief Secretary to the Government and top-tier civil servants in the “Premier Service I” (Turus I) category would only be adjusted by seven per cent.
Civil servants in the management and professional groups and Grades 1 to 54, in turn, would see their salaries hiked by 13 per cent across the board.
“I assure you, a PR government will restore people’s trust towards the civil service’s professionalism and we will reform the service to increase their dignities as competent civil servants,” Anwar said to cheers from the crowd.
Malaysia’s bureaucracy is powered by some 1.4 million workers. Some 80,000 people live in Putrajaya, with 15,798 of them registered to vote.