Graduate pay to be discussed at next week's meeting - PM

05 Aug 2023 01:41pm
Anwar was speaking to reporters after opening the 16th Malaysian National Economic Conference. - Photo by Bernama
Anwar was speaking to reporters after opening the 16th Malaysian National Economic Conference. - Photo by Bernama

BUKIT MERTAJAM - The matter of graduate pay will be part of discussions at next week’s meeting on the review of service and remuneration scheme for civil servants, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali had decided that a committee would discuss salary adjustments at a meeting to be chaired by the prime minister next week.

"We will consider all these matters. Generally, the wage and salary rate for civil servants, including police, armed forces and non-pensionable soldiers, is low. InsyaAllah with economic capability we will raise it in stages.

"Traditionally, this committee was supposed to meet once in 10 years but it has not met for 12 years already,” he told reporters when asked on graduate pay which is deemed to have dropped to minimum wage level.

He was speaking after opening the 16th Malaysian National Economic Conference here today.

In his speech, Anwar said the country's economic growth was considered crippled if it did not have inclusivity by marginalising certain segments of the community.

"While we acknowledge that the country should be driven by meritocracy, we should not sideline communities that are not able to compete in a fair manner," he said.

Citing an example, Anwar said he was among the first ASEAN leaders to recommend Vietnam's adoption into the ASEAN family through a minor and independent paper (not representing government) One Southeast Asia, urging the grouping to not bow to the United States, which was then marginalising Vietnam.

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Anwar said immediately after being appointed as Deputy Prime Minister in the 1990s, he led a big delegation to Vietnam for talks and it then opened the doors for Malaysia to set up banking operations there.

"When I visited Vietnam again last month, I saw that the growth figures and changes there are far better than ours in terms of investments, gaps and poverty rate. By all accounts, they have left us far behind," he said.

Anwar also urged all ministries to not work in silos but to tap the expertise available in institutions of higher learning to create synergy among all parties concerned.

He said China had exploited the synergy between its government sector and universities while Malaysia was still stuck in the old approach.

"The expertise of universities must be fully utilised because this has not been done yet, and it is a loss to the country.

"So I am asking for a detailed report for universities to offer academic and research manpower in fields which departments or ministries can adopt to create synergy for beneficial use (by federal government).

"If this can be done fast, we can drive our economy and achieve six per cent growth in a short period, apart from increasing investments in the country to beyond expectations," he said.

Also present were Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Ekhwan Toriman.

The annual conference, organised by UKM's Economic and Management Faculty with the theme 'Resilience and Inclusivity in Driving Economic Recovery in Era of Uncertain Geopolitics', was attended by about 350 people comprising administrative and professional staff of the public and private sectors. - BERNAMA