Cheer for 1.6 million civil servants

KUALA LUMPUR, 12 Oct 2019: 

There is good news for the 1.6 million civil servants in the 2020 Budget for dedicating their career in delivering public service to the rakyat (people).

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday announced a special payment of RM500 for civil servants Grade 56 and below. He said for government retirees, a special payment of RM250 will be paid and this will be extended to non-pensionable veterans. All will be paid before end of the year.

In making the announcement, he said: “The country records its appreciation to the Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Malaysia Police, Fire and Rescue Department, Royal Malaysian Customs Department, doctors, nurses, teachers and all civil servants for tirelessly striving to make Malaysia better.”

He added that as the civil service represents the backbone to the government, it intended to improve some of the terms of their remuneration.

Firstly, he said the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) will be increased by RM50 per month beginning 2020 for the support group, with an additional allocation of RM350 million annually,

Secondly, civil servants will be allowed early redemption of Accumulated Leave (Gantian Cuti Rehat) for up to 75 days as replacement pay, for those who have at least 15 years of service.

And thirdly, the Public Sector Home Financing Board (LPPSA) will offer free personal accident insurance (up to RM100,000 coverage) for two years to new government housing loan borrowers.

To help relieve the burden of dependants to civil servants who have died in service, Lim said the government will improve the current benefits namely by introducing an Ex-Gratia Death Benefit of up to RM150,000 payable to dependants of the deceased; and the Annual Salary Movement (PGT) will be brought forward (for civil servants who have died in service) before the Salary Movement Date (TPG) .

Meanwhile, Lim said the People’s Volunteer Corps or RELA will enjoy higher allowance of RM2 per hour beginning 1 Jan 2020, resulting in an additional allocation of RM26 million.

Lim also took the opportunity to personally thank all personnel of the Fire and Rescue Department for answering emergency calls from all over the country day and night.

“In recognition of their service who received the grace of Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Yang Di Pertuan Agong, all personnel will receive a special allowance of RM200 a month, amounting to RM35 million. This will benefit 14,400 personnel of the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia.”

In addition, he said the government valued the sacrifice and heroism of the armed forces, particularly holders of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia and hence, the Government will accord a one-off payment of RM500 to the 70,000 holders of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia, with an allocation of RM35 million.

In line with the Repair, Replace, and Restore (3R) philosophy, the Government will allocate RM330 million to the Property and Land Management Division under the Prime Minister’s Department to repair and maintain the public service quarters. In addition, RM150 million and RM250 million is allocated for the repair and refurbishment of Malaysian Armed Forces family housing units (RKAT) and Royal Malaysia Police quarters respectively

The wait is finally over for the 14,400 members of the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (JBPM) who will receive the special allowance for Fire Services Scheme after the government announced it through the 2020 Budget.

Commenting on the new incentive, JBPM director-general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said the provision of the allowance claimed since 2015 would ease the financial burden of firefighters in the face of rising cost of living.

“The approval will directly enhance the spirit and morale as well as motivate members to continue to provide fire and rescue, fire safety, humanitarian and incident management services more efficiently and with more dedication.

“We would also like to thank all Malaysians for their continued support, comments and attention to our services, including the welfare of firefighters nationwide.”

Mohammad Hamdan also expressed appreciation and gratitude to His Majesty Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the government.

Finance Minister Lim had announced a RM200 monthly allowance with an allocation of RM35 million to JBPM members.

RELA director-general Zulkifli Abidin said the increase in the allowance proved the government recognised the duties and role of the department.

“I believe this increase will provide a moral boost to our members in ensuring our role in keeping the community safe is enhanced.”

The increase of RM50 in the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for the support group in the civil service can help ease the burden of low-income civil servants.

Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services Malaysia (Cuepacs) president Datuk Azih Muda said the rising cost of living was not only felt by the civil servants in urban areas but also in rural areas.

“Currently, the amount of COLA allowance is set at RM300, RM250, and RM150 depending on their locations.

“Although the provision of COLA allowance is not the same, the RM50 increase is standardised for all civil servants in urban and rural areas,”

Azih also welcomed the government’s initiative to introduce an Ex-Gratia Death Benefit of up to RM150,000 payable to the dependants of the deceased, and to bring forward the Annual Salary Movement for civil servants who have died in service before the Salary Movement Date.

“This is a new beginning that we look forward to. This is because it will help ease the burden of the dependants of civil servants who died while in service.”

– Bernama