I AM amused with the call by Cuepacs president Omar Hasan asking all public hospitals to admit all government servants to first class wards when they are sick.
Equally amusing and baffling is his reasoning that second and third class wards are occupied by foreigners and that they are not conducive for civil servants.
How can a leader of such an important organisation run down another human being for just being a foreigner? There are also many Malaysians who are warded at second and third class wards at all times.
While we appreciate the services of civil servants, let’s not demand too much for the services rendered.
It’s perfectly all right to ward public servants according to their salary and grades because those with higher qualification deserve better warding facilities as they have worked for it.
While I do not look down upon civil servants in the lower category, I would like to point out that we cannot simply accord all civil servants the same rights across the board.
And for Omar to claim that all civil servants are warded only at second and third class wards according to their salary scale is totally incorrect. Civil servants in the higher bracket are indeed given the option to be warded at first class wards, even in single rooms.
On the call to increase allowances for lodging for government servants, it is justifiable because the cost of living has escalated and it is very true that it is not easy to find cheap rooms at hotels, especially in bigger towns.
Besides the review of lodging allowances, the Treasury should also look into the quantum of mileage and food claims as they have been stagnant for many years. With the increase in fuel and toll charges plus the unreasonable food prices, the Government could do a favour by increasing these allowances as well.
On the call for the Government to pay bonuses every year without fail is too far-fetched. I am sure the Government knows when to reward its workers. When the coffers of the Government are healthy, I am particularly confident the civil servants will be paid bonuses, even during this crucial time of financial constraints.
Providing bonuses at the end of the year would no doubt ease the burden of the people, especially those with children who are still studying. It will help to get the necessary requirement for kids to go to school. Even though education is free, there are other expenses which can run into thousands of ringgit for an average family with three schoolgoing children.
It might be argued that parents should save and spend prudently, but people should be rational in their thinking as the cost of living has been ever increasing. The recent pay hike has actually not done much justice as prices of almost all essential commodities have gone up in tandem.