Malaysia PM announces Priority for Technical Workers in new salary scheme
Teh Athira Yusof | The Star
MALAYSIA. The Star (06 December 2023) - Professional technical workers in the civil sector will be given priority in the ongoing review of the Public Service Remuneration Scheme, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The decision to prioritise civil servants in the technical sector is ongoing as the government actively seeks ways to address the economic situation the country is facing.
The Prime Minister characterised the remuneration scheme as a “paradigm shift” that the country should embrace when adjusting salaries for the civil sector. He said such change must include providing a remuneration scheme that reflects the country’s need for a salary adjustment compared to minor changes such as granting additional allowances, which was done 20 years ago.“We need to face the reality that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is now different, and engineering, IT and digital technology are essential in the country.
“But when it comes to recognition from the government, the salary adjustments do not fulfil the requirement. This is where the paradigm shift, first mentioned by sociologist Thomas Kuhn, should be applied – there should be drastic changes in the remuneration scheme,” he said at the launching of the 2023 National Technical Profession Day.
Anwar promised that such an initiative would be carried out to recognise the important role of civil servants holding technical professional positions in the national development agenda.
“The position and status of those in this group must be elevated in line with the country’s economic situation. Based on this principle, I want to express my commitment (that civil servants in the technical profession) will be given priority in light of the current review in the public services remuneration scheme,” he said.
In line with the announcement, Anwar also urged professional bodies from the technical profession to provide their input.
“I have met with the Public Service Department (JPA) and Chief Secretary to the Government about the review of the remuneration scheme earlier.
“Now I want them to include that the technical profession be prioritised in the review,” he said.
On Nov 7, Anwar announced that the government would prepare a new set of guidelines before year end or the first quarter of 2024 to facilitate the new salary scheme for the civil sector. He said the existing policy was to conduct a salary adjustment study every 10 years, but the civil sector is already entering the 12th year.
Also present at the event were Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali.
Similarly, Anwar also emphasised increasing professional technical training numbers to match the rising number of TVET graduates so that they would receive the salary they deserve.
“We must improve the TVET sector as 97% of TVET graduates are employed, with the majority receiving a salary of around RM2,000.
“It is not enough to get by with just RM2,000.
“If there are similar training programmes conducted by PETRONAS in Sarawak or the training centre in Sabah, for example, it could provide them with the expertise to obtain wages between RM3,500 and RM5,000.
“For welding work, the salary could fetch up to RM7,000, according to PETRONAS,” he said.
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