Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kesan Kenaikan Harga Minyak ke Atas Motivasi Pekerja (III)

Civil Servants Get Green Light To Work Part-time

By Izatun Shari
The Star Online, 10 June 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Civil servants have been given the go-ahead to take up weekend part-time jobs or businesses to raise their income in view of the rising cost of living following food and fuel price hikes.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Tan Sri Amirsham A. Aziz said the Government was encouraging Malaysians including civil servants to work harder over the weekend by getting part-time jobs or embarking on business initiatives to increase their income.

He said the Government was also looking at facilitating those who want to take up casual employment of three to four hours of teller or counter services either in the public or private sector.

"This is a permanent solution or long-term solution towards facing this high cost of living we are experiencing. We are looking at enabling people to take on more jobs over the weekend or after office hours," he told reporters Tuesday after opening the 7th East Asia Poverty Analysis and Data Initiative (PADI) consultation meeting and regional workshop on "poverty monitoring and impact evaluation" at Corus Hotel here.

Asked about civil servants needing to get approval from their department heads and the red tape involving the Public Services Department (JPA), he said: "As long as it doesn't affect their productivity during office hours, we will get JPA to work on it."

It was reported on Monday that Human Resources Minister Datuk S. Subramaniam had asked the JPA to study the proposal by Cuepacs to allow civil servants to work after office hours as it might affect their productivity and his deputy Datuk Noraini Ahmad was against the proposal.

Amirsham also said the price increase in essential commodities was a burden for many lower income households and might even cause them to fall under the poverty line.

"It will happen if they don't do anything but this is what we are looking at. Everybody has to get out of it."

He said the Economic Planning Unit, which was jointly organising the three-day workshop with the Institute of Malaysia and International Studies (Ikmas), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and the World Bank Institute, was looking at medium and long-term solutions.

He also said the Government was confident of achieving its target of completely eradicating hardcore poverty by 2010 despite the high cost of living.

"The Prime Minister has spoken a lot about having a social safety net. In the long run, we need to have a group of people to be given more opportunities for income generation to get themselves out of the pressure of food price increases and the cost of living increase.

"The Government is providing some form of social safety net. We provide a conducive environment for opportunities to raise the income level but at the end of the day it's up to the people to grab the opportunity."

Asked about where the RM2bil the Government would save following its cost-cutting measure would be diverted to, he said the Government was doing a lot for the people including allocating food subsidies.

"At the same time, from my perspective, we are also allocating funds for long term development of the people. We must not forget. We must invest in people in terms of education and training.

"We are trying to balance the short term safety net and the long term development of the people so that they will have more opportunities for employment to adapt to the new economy.

He said the midterm review for the Ninth Malaysia Plan would show where the money would go in terms of development.

Asked whether all ministries would be required to cut down their expenditure on programmes, Amirsham said: "They have their own allocation. They will make their own decision. We don't expect them to cut down expenses for the sake of cutting down and depriving development for the people."

He said the Prime Minister had already announced that all agencies and ministries had been told not to be wasteful.

EPU director-general Tan Sri Sulaiman Mahbob added that the Finance Ministry would come up with a circular to all agencies and ministries to curb wastage and to economise.

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