Snowdan: Critical service allowance cut spells disaster for PH govt

Datuk Snowdan Lawan

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KUCHING, Dec 27: Cutting critical allowance for professional civil servants will not solve any issue but signified that Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration would be short lived.

Highlighting this, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) youth chief Datuk Snowdan Lawan said that the failure by PH federal cabinet to preempt or being insensitive to a probable boycott by these professionals would not only have far reaching effects, but blundering and thwarting the state’s going forward agenda as well as destabilising the economy of the whole nation.

“The present PH government not only failed in generating more revenue from our domestic economy but also failed in the global environment by not luring any FDI (foreign direct investments) to cut the outflow despite having a quality workforce. And now this cut has to be at the expense of this workforce.

“This short cut yet problematic remedy was far from resolving the issues. Signals are forthcoming that this PH administration would probably be short lived,” he criticised in a statement today.

Snowdan was responding to the Public Service Department (PSD)’s recent announcement of a slew of allowance cuts, including the Critical Services Incentive Payment (BIPK), meant to tighten its annuity system effective next year.

BIPK is a special allowance intended to attract and retain professional talents deemed crucial for country’s development.

The Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports emphasised that professionals were the enablers to become a developed nation and denying them the critical allowance would only demoralise them.

Without lucrative perks in the health sector, he said long queue especially in the Emergency Unit in government hospitals and clinics would be expected as well as brain drain from public health sector to private hospitals where at the end, patients would end up paying more.

Apart from the health sector, he added that the teaching profession will also suffer setbacks.

“Efforts promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) would go down the drain. Teachers will not consent to rural posting in the absence allowances,” he opined.

Snowdan, who is Balai Ringin assemblyman, believed that Sarawak which is in the midst of aggressive development would suffer adversely following the implementation of the new policy.

“A vigorous Sarawak would be greatly impacted, resulting from this cut in engineering and architecture sector. These professions are more than needed for ambitious Sarawak which has embarked on long term infrastructure blueprint,” he said.

Meanwhile PSD had on Dec 20 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 Jan 1, 2020.

The federal government’s decision to cut out the BIPK will affect new workers across 33 critical service schemes.— DayakDaily