Cabinet to resolve issue of BM pass for contract doctors

Timbalan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi dalam lawatan nya ke Kuching. -

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KUCHING : The federal Cabinet will step in to resolve the controversy over the Public Services Department’s (PSD) decision to relax the Bahasa Melayu language proficiency requirement for qualified medical graduates to the minimum pass at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia’s (SPM) level when appointed as Grade UD41 contract house/medical officers.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today Health Minister, Dr S Subramaniam, and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office in charge of the PSD, Datuk Joseph Entulu, have been asked to brief the Cabinet at its weekly meeting Wednesday on the PSD decision.

The issue needs to be addressed at it had not only become polemic among defenders of the Malay language but also to avoid having any controversial issues “that could be exploited by those who are anti-establishment”, Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi said in Kuching.

The PSD yesterday decided to relax the requirement to the minimum pass for Bahasa Melayu at Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia’s (SPM) level for the Grade UD41 officers.

Zahid, in a press conference at the home of Sarawak Deputy Chief Douglas Uggah in Tabuan Jaya where he went on a Gawai visit, said the issue should be handled with openness and clarity.

He said even though the government has set a policy on language proficiency and level for civil servants to pass if they are to be employed permanently, he was made to understand the level for the Grade UD41 contract house/medical officers was relaxed because they were only on contract basis.

He said a pass in Bahasa Melayu has always been a must for any officers who wants to work with the government but was made to understand in the PSD’s decision, this was not a permanent employment but a contract.

“Maybe some relaxations are being given.”

Pro Malay non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are strongly against the relaxation.

Pertubuhan Warisan Melayu Johor said the relaxation is a violation of Article 152 of the Federal Constitution on the sovereignty of Bahasa Melayu as the national language.

The Umno Overseas Clubs, milder in their reaction, said the government should find a mechanism to improve Bahasa Melayu proficiency among civil servants, rather than relaxing the recruitment criteria like in the case of employing the doctors. –