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19 Januari 2009

CIVIL SERVANTS BANNED FROM DABBLING IN GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEMES

The Star
By SIM LEOI LEOI
19/1/2009

PETALING JAYA: Many civil servants have been found to be involved in get-rich-quick schemes as sponsors, intermediaries or even investors.
In response, the Public Service Department has issued a circular dated Jan 13 disallowing government staff from taking part in any such scheme.
“We are afraid civil servants may become a target of such schemes because they have just enjoyed a raise in their wages of up to 35% for certain categories.
“This is a reminder to them not to get involved,” Public Services Department director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam said in an interview.
In issuing the directive, Ismail also warned that disciplinary action would be taken against those who continue with such schemes.
The department, however, does not have statistics of the actual number of staff involved.
Besides get-rich-quick schemes, many civil servants have been offered opportunities to buy cars and other items at 0% deposit, by just submitting their pay slips.
Ismail said besides being instructed to keep an eye out for such activities, heads of departments have also been asked to counsel those involved and help them re-prioritise their spending patterns.
“Our department also has a counselling unit to help staff deal with such problems,” he said.
Ismail warned that under General Orders, civil servants were not allowed to let themselves get into a situation of “pecuniary embarrassment”, such as being saddled with huge debts.
Cuepacs president Omar Osman said he had himself been approached to invest in a get-rich-quick scheme which required him to pay RM30,000.
“The agent said I would be able to recoup RM5,000 in three months. I was also given an offer to buy a car at 0% deposit.
“Some of these agents are professional speakers who are very persuasive so I advise civil servants to be careful,” he said.

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