21 May 2007

Raise pensions


CIVIL servants are smiling and have something to look forward to with the announcement of a pay rise. The percentage being considered for the lower-income group is good.

A pensioner would also be happy if the government considered a certain quantum of increase in pensions. One cannot live on the same pension for the past 10 years.

A bonus of RM200 had been given in previous years but that alone is insufficient to cope with the rising cost of living.

In some countries, pensions are increased by a certain percentage every year in keeping with the rising cost of living. Even if it is an increase of five per cent, it would be a blessing.

Lest we forget, there are thousands of widows with school-going children who get RM300 or less as pensions. Therefore, Cuepacs and the government should not only look into the plight of serving civil servants but also those who have served the country.

By V. UMA Kuala Lumpur

Pay Rise: Civil servants can do better


By: Azmi Atan, Petaling Jaya

I WANT to see whether the promises made by Cuepacs that public servants will raise productivity and reduce graft will be met after the government announces the salary revision.

While civil servants are generally doing their job, there are many weaknesses.

Can Cuepacs guarantee that the public would be quickly served when they come to government departments and agencies? If the public calls, will the phone calls be promptly answered?

I believe that while saying "yes" is easy, doing it is not.

While I don’t want to generalise that all civil servants are unproductive, it is not easy to be rid of old habits, even if their salary has been revised.
And what happens if the desired quantum is not granted? I fear civil servants will become more unproductive. While there are many good civil servants who give their best, there is a significant number who frustrate the rakyat.

I hope the government will also monitor the Land Office. It is hard to do business there unless you know somebody, or engage runners who deal with certain officers there.

I have heard stories of people having to wait months or years to change their land titles or make simple amendments.

Land Office staff also cannot be pressed or pressured as they dictate terms.

Some officials there are making extra money by expediting certain files. That is why certain applications are quickly approved and some take months or years.

If money changes hands, then the matter will be quickly resolved. This may sound harsh, but go to the Land Office and witness the working environment there.

I have mentioned only one agency. I may not be totally right, but I want to know whether civil servants would be better public servants after the salary revision.

The people have been deprived of good services at some agencies for too long. These are the people whose vote will help the government in the general election.

At the same time, I must commend a great number of civil servants for their dedication and hard work. These are the people who make us thankful and proud.

KDRM naik taraf Akmal universiti 2010

Berita Harian

PUTRAJAYA: Kastam Diraja Malaysia (KDRM) akan menaikkan taraf Akademi Kastam (Akmal) di Bukit Baru, Melaka kepada universiti menjelang 2010 bagi menyediakan program khusus berkaitan bidang kastam.

Selain melahirkan pegawai lebih berpengetahuan dan berkelayakan, universiti itu akan menyediakan kursus kepada orang awam yang berminat menjadi ejen KDRM serta latihan kepada pegawai kastam asing.

Timbalan Pengarah (Operasi) KDRM, Datuk Ibrahim Jaapar, berkata ketika ini jabatan itu mengadakan program berkembar dengan Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) bagi kursus peringkat Ijazah Sarjana Muda, Sarjana dan Doktor Falsafah (PhD).

"Ketika ini, Akmal berfungsi sebagai pusat latihan dan fungsinya akan lebih besar apabila dinaikkan taraf sebagai universiti kelak.

"Separuh daripada sukatan pelajaran terutama berkaitan subjek kastam akan diajar sendiri pegawai kami, manakala separuh ditetapkan UUM," katanya semalam.

Akmal yang ditubuhkan pada 1956 dengan nama Pusat Latihan Kastam Persekutuan sebelum ditukar kepada Sekolah Latihan Kastam Persekutuan setahun selepas itu bagi menyediakan kursus latihan untuk penolong penguasa kastam.

Selepas menunjukkan prestasi memberangsangkan dan memiliki kemampuan sebagai sebuah akademi, ia dinaikkan taraf kepada Akademi Kastam Diraja Malaysia pada Oktober 1989.

Akmal kini mempunyai tiga cawangan termasuk di Menggatal, Sabah; Kuching, Sarawak dan Bukit Malut di Langkawi, Kedah.

Pegawai masjid di Kedah terima kenaikan elaun

Berita Harian

ALOR STAR: Seramai 3,264 pegawai masjid di seluruh Kedah menerima kenaikan elaun bulanan membabitkan peruntukkan tahunan RM11.11 juta mulai Jun depan.

Elaun imam dinaikkan dari RM450 kepada RM500, bilal RM200 kepada RM450, siak RM200 kepada RM250 dan Setiausaha Jawatankuasa Kariah dan Bendahari masing-masing menerima RM100 sebulan.

Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, berkata kenaikan elaun bersesuaian keperluan semasa selain menghargai sumbangan mereka sebagai pemangkin pembangunan rohaniah masyarakat.

Beliau berkata, kerajaan negeri yakin pegawai masjid yang terdiri daripada imam, bilal serta ahli jawatankuasa masjid dapat memupuk perpaduan serta kesedaran positif di kalangan anak kariah di kawasan masing-masing.

"Melalui kefahaman ini, akan bertambah mudah kerajaan negeri melaksanakan program dan perancangan di seluruh negeri selain sama-sama memastikan kejayaan setiap program," katanya pada majlis penutup Seminar Pegawai Pengurusan Masjid peringkat negeri di Dewan Insaniah di sini, semalam.

Sebelum ini kerajaan negeri memperuntukkan RM5 juta setahun membabitkan hanya pembayaran elaun bulanan imam, bilal serta siak masjid di seluruh Kedah.

20 May 2007

Inculcate Maintenance, Efficient Service Culture - Lee

KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 (Bernama) -- Government departments, agencies and the private sector must adopt and implement the culture of maintenance and efficient service in line with the principle of integrity to ensure public convenience and safety, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health said Sunday.

Its chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said recent incidences of defects in new government buildings with regard to leaking pipes and ceiling collapse, including a leaking roof in Parliament House, are matters of embarrassment.

"These unpleasant occurrences in poor maintenance and lack of ethics are issues affecting health and safety at workplaces which must not be overlooked," he said in a statement.

Lee said workplaces with 40 or more employees are required by law to establish safety and health committees to discuss and implement accident prevention programmes.

"It's time for everyone to curb the Malaysian malaise clearly manifested in inferior work quality, poor management and maintenance," he said.

"Maintenance and service have never been the country's forte. We are good at providing state-of-the-art buildings and equipment but when it comes to maintaining and making them function properly we have many weaknesses," he said.

Lee said poor maintenance of public buildings and infrastructures such as public toilets, children's playgrounds, drains and roads could lead to accidents and injuries.

"All authorities and every Malaysian must inculcate the maintenance culture and make it part of our lives.

"Improving a country's image is not solely the government's responsibility but also the duty of every civic-minded citizen," he added.


Taib will not tolerate rogue civil servants

The Star

Taib will not tolerate rogue civil servants

KUCHING: Sarawak will not allow anyone linked to gangsters to serve in the state government.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his deputy Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam gave this warning when replying to queries on the matter in the state assembly here yesterday.

Taib warned of stern action against anyone in his government found to be linked to gangsterism.

“Nobody in my government will be spared if they are involved in criminal activities.

“It is a serious matter,” he said, responding to Richard Wong Ho Leng (DAP – Bukit Assek), who said newspaper reports had linked a state minister with gangsters.

Dr Chan told the opposition assemblyman that the police had opened files on suspected gangsters and were building up the cases.

He said six suspected gangsters in the state had been sent to the Simpang Renggam detention centre in Johor and seven others had been charged in court.

Quoting police statistics, he said there had been increasing incidences of serious crimes, like murder, robbery and rape, since 2005.

Dr Chan said there were 2,167 cases of such crimes last year, an increase of 341 cases from the year before.

Wear and tear among reasons for leaking roof at Parliament House

The Star

SUNGAI SIPUT: Absence of maintenance and wear and tear were among the reasons for the leaking roof at Parliament House.

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the waterproofing material used when the building was constructed had worn off after 44 years, resulting in water seeping through the roof.

The waterproofing was also installed without any protective layers, he added.

He said the reasons were cited in an inspection report by the Kuala Lumpur Public Works Department's (PWD) maintenance division on May 10.

Samy Vellu said the department's report revealed:

  • CRACKS and water seepage on the concrete roof;

  • SEEPAGE through the rain gutter surface edge;

  • CLOGGED gutters which caused water retention;

  • WATERPROOFING on the roof was not working and had been used beyond its lifespan;

  • WATERPROOFING was installed on the concrete surface without any protective layer;

  • CLOGGED drainage pipes;

  • SEWERAGE pipe leaks at VIP and other toilets;

  • DAMAGED expansion joints; and

  • THE absence of maintenance work.

    Speaking to reporters after opening the Farmers and Livestock Breeders Association annual general meeting here yesterday, Samy Vellu said he had instructed the PWD director and technicians to inspect the entire building and come up with specifications for a new waterproofing system.

    He said there might be a need for a complete realignment of the roof.

    “We not only have to waterproof the roof but also create a heat-proof layer on top of it. It is quite a big job.”

    He said work would only be carried out if the Cabinet gave the green light. On the cost, he said he would announce it once the repairs were approved.

    Samy Vellu also revealed that the 2005 renovations to Parliament House, which cost RM90mil, did not include roofing as it only covered the interior of the building.

    “It was not carried out as the need did not arise at the time,” he said, adding that the roof “was not very damaged.”

    He said the problem only cropped up four months ago because of bad weather.

    Refuting claims made by Public Accounts Committee chairman Datuk Shahrir Samad that the PWD was responsible for maintaining the building, Samy Vellu said: “Maintenance of the building has all along been under the Parliament itself, not the PWD. And when there are others carrying out maintenance, we cannot interfere. As Parliament is independent, we cannot order them around.”

  • Electronic kiosk to list 50,000 jobs

    The Star

    KUALA LUMPUR: More than 50,000 jobs will be listed at the Human Resource Ministry's job vacancy electronic kiosks with the first one to open at Plaza Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

    Minister Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn said apart from professional ones, most of the jobs offered at the electronic kiosks were related to manufacturing, plantation, services and production industries.

    “The electronic kiosks offer jobs in government agencies, private sector and foreign companies so those who are looking for jobs can check them out there.

    “If they find jobs that are suitable for them, they can apply on the spot. The employers will contact the applicants if they match the jobs,” he told reporters after opening the sixth Asian Youth Boys (Under-19) Volleyball Championship at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium here yesterday.

    Dr Fong, who is MCA vice-president, said the ministry would also set up the kiosks in Penang, Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching by end of the year.

    “The kiosks will be set up at shopping centres as many people are there,” he added.