PETALING JAYA: The proposal to stop the critical service incentive allowance (BIPK) will demoralise the civil servants who are affected, says the MCA.
The party suggested that the allowances and benefits of ministers, their deputies, as well as head of government-linked companies (GLSs), be cut instead.
“The proposal to eliminate the BIPK will weaken the spirit of the new intake in the 33 affected professions.
“This is especially so for those working under the Health Ministry, such as nurses, dentists and medical officers, ” said MCA in a statement on Tuesday (Dec 31).
It was jointly issued by MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, MCA central committee member and social development committee chairman Datuk Dr Lee Hong Tee and MCA central committee member and Sabah Wanita MCA chairman Dr Pamela Yong.
In a Dec 20,2019 circular, the Public Service Department (PSD) announced that the government would no longer give the BIPK to 33 professions in the civil service for new intakes starting Jan 1,2020.
They cover medical officers, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, engineers, air traffic controllers, architects, marine architects, legal officers, agricultural officers, vocational training officers, marine officers and research officers among others.
Only new intakes starting Jan 1,2020 will be affected by the cut, as staff appointed before that, whether permanent or temporary employees, will not be affected.
The BIPK amount ranges between 5% and 15% based on the base salary of the recipient with nurses getting the highest amount (15%), while medical officers, pharmacists and lecturers receive a flat rate of RM750.
MCA said doctors and nurses played a crucial role in improving the people’s standard of living and therefore deserved commensurate pay.
The elimination of BIPK would cause a huge salary cut and put the housemen and new medical officers in the B40 income bracket, or those with a monthly salary of less than RM3,860, it added.
“If we take the monthly cost of living in urban areas such as Kuala Lumpur to be RM2,800, and the salary of a houseman after tax is RM3,700, then they will face financial burden and difficulty in starting a family.
“They might have to take up extra work to make a living and this will affect their mental health.
“It’s very ironic when those who carry the heavy responsibility of looking after the people’s health are unable to care for themselves, ” the statement said.
It added that the elimination of BIPK will widen the gap between the new and old intake in terms of salary.
In Singapore, a houseman received between RM9,000 monthly after tax compared to RM3,671 in Malaysia, according to the MCA, adding that the BIPK cut would also affect the housemen’s ability to pay their student loans.
MCA also warned of losing even more professionals to the private sector, which could give higher salaries compared to the civil service.
“It is the professional opinion that more doctors are still needed and that this profession is still at a critical level.
“Therefore, the number of doctors needed should be studied and not their allowance cut.
“The Pakatan government is urged to cut the allowances and benefits given to ministers, deputy ministers and GLC heads and not victimise the civil servants, ” said MCA.
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