THE slew of goodies announced for civil servants in Budget 2018 has been widely applauded.
Health Ministry officer Azlimi Ayub @ Abdullah, 36, called the increase in total maternity leave from 300 to 360 days a “thoughtful decision” by the Government.
“It has been difficult for mothers who did not have enough maternity leave and were forced to take unpaid leave,” said the mother of two children, aged 11 and seven.
She also commended the move to allow husbands with pregnant wives to leave work an hour early, provided they are working in the same location.
“This will help ease the women’s burden,” she said.
Omar Morshidi, 31, whose wife joined the service after their first child and has now used up all 300 days for their five children, said: “If we were to have another child, she would have to take unpaid leave, although I don’t think we intend to have any more children after our fifth!”
He said the RM1,500 special incentive for government servants will come in useful for his big family, in paying for the children’s school things and their festive needs since the money will be paid in two instalments (in January and before Hari Raya Aidilfitri).
While he appreciated the special payment, Raimi Othman, 38, felt it would be better if there was an increase in the pay scale instead.
“A pay scale revision would be better in the long run than one-off incentives,” said the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry staffer and father-of-two.
In Seremban, office colleagues Aminorhana Amsar and Nor Shakila Ahmad Safaie have described the RM1,500 special payment as a “special and timely” gift from the Prime Minister.
Aminorhana, 35, who works at Wisma Negri, said: “With two school-going kids, one can imagine the cost of getting them ready for the new term.”
Nor Shakila, 32, who obtained her degree in communications from Universiti Malaysia Sabah, plans to use the money to further her studies.
“I have been delaying plans to do my Master’s and with the additional cash, this is an appropriate time.”
Government retiree P. Surinder Singh, 63, said with the RM750 special payment for pensioners, he plans to visit India in February.
“It is a peak season for travel, the flight tickets are going to be pricey.
“I thank the PM for not forgetting us in his Budget,” he added.
Teacher P. Sivarajan, 49, was also delighted that government school teachers would get 10 rest days annually, up from seven now.
“Seven days are not enough, especially if a teacher has a big family.
“There are many festivals and special occasions that we need to attend, so the additional three days is great news for us.”
Administrative officer Jennifer Chua, 38, is happy with the 9am-to-6pm work hours.
“At present I have to leave a lot earlier than my husband who works in the private sector and starts work at 9am. This adds to our cost.
“Once the new 9am-to-6pm flexi-hour system is introduced for government servants, we can travel together and save money,” she added.