The Malaysian Government has announced a one-off payment of RM600 ($A200) to Public Servants on lower grades “in appreciation of their services and devotion”.
In his Budget speech, Minister for Finance, Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said he was impressed by the commitment and steadfastness of Government workers.
“Without knowing exhaustion, they have served beyond expectation and rose beyond the call of duty to protect the people, support businesses and strengthen the economy during the pandemic,” Datuk Seri Zafrul said.
Public Service pensioners and non-pensionable veterans would receive RM300 ($A100) the Minister said.
Datuk Seri Zafrul said the Government recognised the need to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of its workers in a country affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, a leading economist has criticised the payments, saying the Government was already burdened with a high wage bill, which took up a large chunk of the National Budget, and could not do anything about it.
Chair of the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute Centre for Public Policy Studies, Ramon Navaratnam (pictured) said the country was stuck with its large emolument and pensions bill.
“Pensions cannot be reduced and you cannot retrench Civil Servants,” Mr Navaratnam said.
“So, we are stuck with this,” he said.
Budget papers estimate Public Service wages for 2021 to be RM84.5 billion ($A28 billion), with pensions making up 11.7 per cent of that amount.
This compares to RM82.61 billion ($A27.4 billion) in 2020 and RM80.53 billion ($A26.7 billion) in 2019.
Kuala, Lumpur, 10 November 2020