At a political workshop last weekend, a senior minister told us that salary increment for the civil servants is imminent. The decision was probably influenced by civil servants discontent over higher cost of living and the looming general elections.
In The Star today, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi said all government servants will get a pay rise “because they deserve it.” Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak told the civil servants to buck up if they wanted a pay rise. He said that their compensation must be tied to performance and urged them to help improve the public service delivery system. The prime minister statement must be soothing to their ear.
On how much the decision will cost the government, Abdullah said the numbers would be known only after a decision had been made on the size of the pay package. There are 1.2 million civil servants. In the last 3 years, the current administration has increased more than 10% of the civil workforce.
In 1997, when the MSC was launched, one of the main objectives of the government was to create an E-Government in order to streamline the civil sector and to create a paperless administration. A leaner and technology driven civil sector was believed to be more effective and efficient.
However, a decade later we have not heard much about its progress. The civil sector is ever burgeoning and is expected to grow by 3% annually.
In order to pay better salary without draining the government coffer, there is a need to right size the civil sector. A higher salary can be justified if better qualified people can be retained and attracted to join the service.
Meanwhile, Malaysians must get value for their money.
No more political decision, please.
Picture courtesy of The Star.