Pay hike will ease living costs, say civil servants

Visitors at the Madani Rakyat programme in Sungai Nibong. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

CIVIL servants in Penang believe the recently announced pay hike will give them better purchasing power which in turn will help boost the local economy.

Northern zone housing and strata tribunal head Ruthra Raj Selvarajoo said she was grateful for the pay increase as her expenses had gone up with her recent transfer to Penang.

Ruthra has additional expenses since moving to Penang.Ruthra has additional expenses since moving to Penang.“I am from Klang and lived with my parents while working in Selangor.

“Moving to Penang was costly as I now pay rent, which means I have to budget my expenses to deal with added costs,” she said.

Ruthra said the pay hike meant she could save some money.

Corporate officer Shazwan Afwan said the increase was timely as he just got married.

“Our purchasing power is going down so it will help us lead a better life with the extra money.

Siti Balqhis’s salary is mostly spent on her children’s needs.Siti Balqhis’s salary is mostly spent on her children’s needs.“I spend mostly on food as it is always nice to eat out, but we have to watch our expenses,” he said.

State economic affairs assistant officer Siti Balqhis Ahmad, who has been in the service for 18 years, said the salary increment would help with family expenses.

“I have four children aged between five and 16 so I need to spend on their clothing and schooling needs.

“As one is in secondary school and two are in primary school, they require different things.

“A large chunk of my salary is spent to meet their needs,” she said when met at north zone “Madani Rakyat” programme in Sungai Nibong, George Town, Penang.

Shazwan says the increase is timely as he just got married.Shazwan says the increase is timely as he just got married.The three-day programme saw thousands of people visiting various booths which also offered cheaper goods.

The programme, organised by the Prime Minister’s Office through Project Acceleration and Coordination Unit (Pacu) with strategic cooperation of the Transport Ministry and state government, covers Penang, Kedah and Perlis.

It focuses on agendas related to people’s well-being, unity, technical and vocational education and training as well as integrated public transport.

Other sectors in focus are agriculture and food security, career fair, guidance on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education as well as artificial intelligence (AI), in addition to various services provided by federal and state governments.

On May 1, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had announced that civil servants would receive a pay hike of over 13%.

He said the new salary scheme would take effect in December.

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