PSD: Critical allowance cut postponed, pending Cabinet decision

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 09 Jan 2020

PUTRAJAYA: The abolition of the Critical Service Incentive Allowance (BIPK) for civil servants will be put on hold until a review on the matter is done and decided by the Cabinet, says the Public Service Department (PSD).

Its director-general Datuk Mohd Khairul Adib Abd Rahman said Thursday (Jan 9) that the move to no longer grant the allowance for new intakes for 33 professions in the civil service has been postponed.

In a Dec 20 circular last year, the PSD announced that the BIPK for new appointments in 33 professions in the civil service beginning Jan 1 this year will be eliminated.

The professions are 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.

The decision caused an uproar, especially among upcoming medical professionals who will be joining the civil service to do their housemanship and compulsory service.

The circular, however, said that no current staff, permanent or temporary ones, would be affected by the move.

The PSD, in the circular, also said that existing contractual staff would continue to receive their allowance as long as their contracts were renewed without any disruption to their service.

The PSD reasoned that the PIBK was not meant to be a permanent fixture, adding that it could be revoked if any service sector was deemed no longer critical.

It noted that a recent study done last year found that all 33 professionals receiving BIPK no longer meet the criteria of the intended allowance, which was to attract candidates for the positions that are in short supply and difficult to fill.

Among them were the Good Conduct Allowance, the Snake Poisoning Allowance, Special Stenographer Allowance, Mail Train Allowance and Accountant Encouragement Allowance.

Following the study, a Cabinet committee on civil service chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad decided that existing BIPK recipients would continue to receive the allowance but not the new ones.

According to the department, 27 allowances had been abolished, merged or rebranded since 1992 as they did not meet the granting criteria.

This decision, however, did not go down well and associations, as well as lawmakers had urged the government to reconsider its decision.

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