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09 November 2008

CUEPACS CAN REQUEST BUT IT'S UP TO GOVT TO DECIDE

The Star
8/11/2009



FIRST and foremost, let me state that I am a civil servant with 27 years of service. I would like to refer to the letter by NAN: “
Civil servants cared for from start to end”, (The Star, Nov 6).
Whether it is morally right or wrong of Cuepacs to ask for the year-end bonus is not my contention but I agree with the Prime Minister that in these times of economic turbulence, it will be quite a burden on the Government to meet the bonus demand.
However, I beg to differ with the writer’s views regarding civil servants. I chose to be a government servant knowing full well the little perks that come with the job.
Compared to those in the private sector, we are paid pittance for the same qualification and job specifications, but we are not complaining because this is the vocation we chose. He says that being in the government service is likened to “iron rice bowls” where job security is guaranteed until retirement and pension and hospital benefits are given to retirees and their family members. What is the big deal here?
We contribute to the EPF and those who chose to be in the pensionable scheme are rewarded with a pension. Some who chose otherwise get to withdraw a lump sum and forego all the benefits.
I would like to stress that it is the right of the union, or rather Cuepacs, to request for a bonus and it is for the Government to decide whether or not to give. The reasons given by the PM can be accepted, and I can understand the country’s financial situation.
Having said that, my sympathy goes to the Government servants in the middle and lower income bracket who have children in school. Although education is free, the other “hidden” expenses are too much for an ordinary government servant to handle. As for those in the private sector, they do not have to worry because they have their year-end bonus. Only the quantum might wary.

K.G.S. JAYARAJ,
Sitiawan, Perak.

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