08 September 2017



PETALING JAYA, Sept 7 — Reviewing the salaries and welfare schemes of personnel in
enforcement agencies is not the only solution against corruption and power abuse. Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services Malaysia (Cuepacs) and a number of associations representing retired civil servants agreed that while raising salaries and benefits might reduce corruption, higher wages were not the ultimate solution.
Cuepacs secretary-general Adnan Mat said equally important was an individual’s integrity.
“Recent arrests and convictions by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) showed those in high-ranking positions with considerable salaries were also likely to engage in abuse of power and corruption,” Adnan told Malay Mail.

“This relates to an individual’s integrity and principles rather than how much they earn each month.”  Adnan was asked to comment on a statement by the MACC on Tuesday urging the government to review the salaries and welfare of personnel in enforcement agencies, including the police, as a means to stamp out bribery and corruption. The statement was issued in conjunction with the appointment of Datuk Seri Mohamad Fuzi Harun as the new Inspector-General of Police.

Adnan said Cuepacs would continue to push for better salaries for all civil servants, as the cost of living had increased tremendously. “We have urged the government to review the current salary and welfare schemes, as what those in the sector are getting is insufficient against the rising cost of living,” he said.

Former Cuepacs secretary-general Datuk Lok Yim Pheng said enforcement agencies personnel should have their salaries reviewed because of the hazards of their profession. “They should get better wages as they work in critical sectors and are in high-risk positions enforcing the law and keeping the peace,” she said.

“However, they must be mindful of their responsibilities whether they get a pay raise or otherwise because corruption relates to self-discipline and integrity.” Retired Senior Police Officers Association vice-president Aziz Mohd Yusof said corruption was a dilemma no agency was immune to. “I believe having a strong religious and spiritual background goes a long way in preventing bribery,” he said. “However, the MACC should continue with its anti-graft campaign for the civil service, focusing on those who are especially starting out in their careers.”

Although some civil servants claimed they had resorted to accepting bribes because they were having trouble making ends meet, Mohd Yusof said, there was no excuse for them to commit the crime. “Our society should be mindful to not offer bribes to officers just to get things done. If we keep tempting them, this will lead to moral decay in our society,” he said.
Association of Former Customs Officers president Datuk Abd Rahman Manan said salaries as recent as five years ago were sufficient for civil servants, but not anymore.
“A review by the government would be opportune at this time,” he said.
“Nonetheless, officers should be mindful that if they get higher salaries with any associated benefits, they should also put in the work that is reflective of what they are being paid. It is the taxpayers who are paying their salaries.”

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