Pensions abolition: Three sectors expected to be affected

Young people will lose interest entering position in sector of education, security and health sectors.

29 Jan 2024 11:55am

SHAH ALAM - The government's decision to abolish the pension scheme for permanent government employees is expected to impact three sectors which consist of education, security and health.

Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) Centre for International Relations Studies head Dr Hussain Yusri Zawawi said that it would likely result in young people losing interest in filling positions in these three crucial sectors due to the absence of a pension guarantee after their retirement.

"Graduates may no longer compete to fill vacancies for teaching positions or lecturers in public higher education institutions (IPTA). If many are not interested in becoming educators, what will happen to the future of our nation?

"In the meantime, this decision will also break the motivation of university students to compete for excellence in their studies with the hope of being absorbed into the public sector.

"Typically, excellent students are quickly absorbed as public servants. The public sector has been a target for IPT students due to its pension benefits," Hussain said during a visit to the Karangkraf Group Complex.

It was reported that the Cabinet agreed that the appointment for new permanent government employees would no longer include a pension.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the pension status of existing public servants would not be affected, while new government employees would contribute through the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

Hussain said that the absence of a pension would also give the impression that the government does not appreciate the role of the security forces.

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"The responsibilities of security officer and personnel are heavy. They risk their lives while on duty. They are heroes protecting the safety of the nation.

"Imagine a security officer or police officer who has to undergo lengthy training before starting their duties, but if they die early in their career, their wives and children will not enjoy a pension, only a minimal EPF since they are still new in their jobs," he added.

He also argued that in terms of health, medical graduates would likely choose to work in private hospitals that offer higher salaries.

Hussain emphasised the decision to abolish the pension scheme seemed incapable of resolving the country's large financial expenditure problems because the government still needs to pay large salaries to public servants due to competition with the private sector.

He said that before making such decisions, the government should address the issue of wastage experienced by the country, which was a major cause of financial problems, rather than withdrawing the pension scheme that has been enjoyed by the people.

Therefore, Hussain urged the government to reconsider its decision to abolish the pension scheme, as it has caused unrest and anger among the people.

"For me, this is the wrong approach. The government should discuss this in the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara first and call on experts to analyse the impacts of such a decision.

"Don't just discuss it in the Cabinet. In the Cabinet, only politicians are involved, while comprehensive discussions and in-depth analyses should be conducted to understand the impact of any decision," he added.