Syed Saddiq blasts Public Service Dept for cutting critical allowance

Azril Annuar
In response, Syed Saddiq said he will cut short his annual leave and also return every sen that was granted for his holiday allowance. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 — Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman has slammed the Public Service Department’s (JPA) decision to cut the RM750 critical allowance for newly minted professional civil servants.

In a video post on Twitter, the youth and sports minister criticised the move and voiced his disagreement, saying that Putrajaya should be reviewing all allowances granted to politicians and ministers instead.

“We should not wrong our young doctors and nurses in critical services. They are already heavily overworked and underpaid.

“I know this because I went through an appendicitis operation at a government hospital and they give the best treatment to all Malaysians. That’s why I disagree with the new JPA circular that has a direct impact on many youths in the government sector,” said Syed Saddiq.

As a start, Malaysia’s youngest Cabinet minister said he will cut short his annual leave and also return every sen that was granted for his holiday allowance.

This is on top of his 10 per cent salary reduction. He also promised that he will urge his colleagues to do the same until the problem is resolved.

On December 20, JPA announced that doctors, engineers, architects and various professionals once deemed vital to Malaysia’s development will no longer receive a “critical” allowance when they join the civil service starting January 1, 2020.

The ruling administration’s decision to cut out the Critical Service Incentive Payment will affect new workers across 33 critical service schemes.

Syed Saddiq received support for his statement on Twitter, with some users also slamming JPA’s decision.

“If JPA continue doing this, doctor and pharmacist are going to private sector while nurses are going to migrate to UAE. 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 gov sectors anymore,” said user @onyaxyz.

However, some users such as @peoplespowerr also pointed out that Syed Saddiq should have raised the matter to the Cabinet instead of voicing his concerns on social media.

Another user, @analytic_people made a comparison between a doctor and an engineer’s salary when compared to a minister, while also blasting Syed Saddiq for not bringing the issue up in Cabinet.

“A minister’s salary can pay 10 doctors (salary of RM5,000) or 14 engineers (salary of RM3,500).

“It’s useless if you just organise a press conference on a phone but remain as quiet as a mouse and agreeing to everything the Cabinet says.” said @analytic_people.

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