Syed Saddiq urges salary increase for civil servants over pension abolition

Syed Saddiq joins chorus against civil servant pension cut

26 Jan 2024 01:05pm
Syed Saddiq. - FILE PIX
Syed Saddiq. - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has called on the government to prioritise raising civil servant salaries instead of abolishing their pensions.

Highlighting stagnant wages since 2013 and challenging working conditions, including poor living quarters, Syed Saddiq stressed the need for improved compensation.

He further stressed the issue of brain drain, citing the disparity between Malaysian healthcare salaries and those in Singapore, where some Malaysian nurses reportedly earn more than specialists.

"Thousands of our experts have chosen to serve overseas.

"Meanwhile, ministers can receive multiple pensions, substantial allowances, and even hold positions in GLCs (Government-Linked Companies), all on top of permanent pensions despite shorter tenures.

"Is it fair that dedicated civil servants earning as little as RM1,500 and working for decades are denied pensions?" he said in a Facebook video posted today.

On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said new civil servants would no longer receive pensions but would contribute to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organisation (Socso).

Zahid said this would alleviate the government’s financial burden by reducing pension payments, which he said would reach RM120 billion in 2040 without any change to the system.

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This is set to be implemented by this year, with the public services department to announce the exact date.

Syed Saddiq also echoed calls from Umno Youth Chief Dr Akmal Saleh for prioritising the abolition of pensions for representatives and ministers before targeting civil servants.

He criticised the government's proposed shift to EPF and Socso contributions for new civil servants as adding insult to injury for an already underpaid and undervalued workforce.

"Civil servants are already struggling," he said, using the Malay proverb "sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga" (to add misfortune to hardship).

"We shouldn't just praise them during elections or for their vital roles during crises like the pandemic.

"They deserve better support, not neglect and betrayal.

"While politics may change, civil servants remain the backbone of our nation," he added.