Sarawak Premier: ‘Peanut’ salary gets monkeys, high salary gets quality experts

Premier (centre), Wee (third right) and others in a group photo during Chinese New Year dinner at Imperial Hotel in Kuching on Feb 6, 2023. Photo: Sarawak Information Department (Japen Sarawak)

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By Ashley Sim and Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Feb 6: The Sarawak government is weighing on providing high salaries to attract quality experts.

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg cited Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2022, where the top ten countries perceived as the least corrupt nations in the world are Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, and Luxembourg.

“Do you know why? Because they have a good salary. And their pension fund is guaranteed for the future. But if your salary is peanuts, you (get) monkeys. If you pay high, you (get) quality experts.

“And, there must be a ‘hire and fire’ policy. However, you cannot fire people under pension so that you will get deadwood. Once you have deadwood, you will be unable to move forward,” he said during the Chinese New Year Dinner 2023 hosted by the Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions (SFCA) at Imperial Hotel here earlier tonight.

Abang Johari, who is the Minister of Finance and New Economy, further said that the Sarawak government is currently upgrading the Sarawak Civil Service (SCS).

“Perhaps, if they (SCS) are good, the Chinese will join because they always join the greener pastures.

“Even though we (Sarawak government) have recognised Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), you ask Dr Sim (Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian), it is indeed very difficult to promote and ask them (excellent Chinese students) to join because the pay is less.

“Thus, this is one of the problems we are facing, but we have to find a solution to that. As long as Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is the government (of the day), we can find a solution for us to solve the problem facing Sarawak,” he added.

Amongst those present were Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas; Dr Sim; Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah; Minister of Transport Lee Kim Shin; Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kuching, Xing Wei Ping; and SFCA president Dato Richard Wee Liang Chiat. — DayakDaily