26 September 2023

MALAYSIA: Union hits back at pay cut call

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The head of Malaysia’s powerful Public Service union has hit back at the suggestion by businessman, Ameer Ali Mydin that public sector pay cuts should be made to help reduce revenue shortfalls in the COVID-19 pandemic.

President of the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (CUEPACS), Adnan Mat (pictured) said many Public Servants took home only 20 per cent of their salaries due to various deductions, including house and car loans.

“This 20 per cent is for us to spend, so if there are pay cuts, it would affect our ability to spend,” Mr Adnan said.

“Public Servants spending at markets and shops help stimulate the economy during the COVID-19 Movement Control Order (MCO) period,” he said.

“They have been hurt at the suggestion by Mr Ameer in whose hypermarkets many do their shopping.”

Mr Adnan said even though there was a moratorium on loan repayments from banks, the extra money was used to cover increased household expenses as the Public Servants and their families remained at home.

He pointed out that of the country’s 1.6 million Public Servants, 1.2 million were front-liners like the police, armed forces personnel and Ministry of Health staff, or those working from home.

“People think they draw big salaries but the truth is it is not that big,” he said.

“They are very close to the people and sometimes use their own money to help them.”

Former senior Public Servant, Ramon Navaratnam said that in principle it was fair that everyone make sacrifices including public servants.

“However, pay cuts for the Civil Service should apply only to those earning above a certain amount, and this is something the Government should discuss with CUEPACS,” Mr Ramon said.

Kuala Lumpur, 25 April, 2020

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