Anger mounts on social media over abolition of critical service allowance

(FMT) – Social media users unhappy over the end of critical service allowances (BIPK) are questioning the disparity between ministers’ salaries and the allowances for civil servants.

While they praise Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Rahman for voicing out against Putrajaya to cut the RM750 monthly allowance of new recruits in the civil service from Jan 1, they want the government to appreciate the contributions of medical staff and engineers towards the country.

Syed Saddiq had posted his views on social media yesterday, attracting more than 1,200 comments, 20,000 retweets and 23,000 likes.

Tweeter user People_Analytic said a minister’s wages could pay the salaries of 10 doctors and 15 engineers. Ministers take home between RM40,000 and RM100,000.

Azhazul Azri tweeted that the retirement age be reverted to 55 instead of 60 to reduce salaries of staff who will eventually get a pension, and to pay the additional money to the professionals working in the civil sector.

Some also called on other ministers to speak out against the move, asking them to play their roles to serve as checks and balances in the system.

Mohammad Azri Azmi tweeted that ministers should start using Proton Viva or Proton Saga to reduce costs to the government.

Tweeter @onyaxyz warned that if the Public Service Department (JPA) continues not to favour the medical service, they may go into the private sector.

“They may go overseas to UAE to work. These are noble jobs, it is not easy for them to study and withstand the long hours of working in shifts.

“I don’t see the perks in working in the government sector any more,” he wrote.

Tweeter Megat Zuhairy said the government should appreciate the services offered by engineers “who have contributed in a big way to the country”.

Last year, the government had listed 33 professions as eligible for the BIPK. They included medical officers, pharmacists, architects, engineers and assistant engineers, legal officers, agricultural and marine engineers, and medical researchers.

But yesterday, most of these jobs were taken out of the critical service list. JPA further said no current staff, permanent or temporary, will be affected by this move and will continue to receive BIPK under the existing rates up until they leave the service.

Contractual service officers still qualify to receive the allowance as long as they are reappointed via contract continuously with no disruption in their service duration, up until the contract expires.

However, those employed in the public sector, starting January 2020, will no longer enjoy the incentive.

Under BIPK, civil servants under the management and professional category enjoy an additional 5%allowance on top of their monthly salaries.

Professionals in the medical field, however, are paid a fixed allowance of RM750 in addition to their monthly salary.