26 April 2008

Car hire-purchase scheme for government servants relaunched


Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) has relaunched the car hire purchase (HP) scheme for government servants, which was discontinued four years ago, following the return of stability in the car market.

Deputy chief executive (consumer banking/business support service), Norazian Ahmad Tajuddin, said the scheme was for the purchase of a Proton car with the minimum loan of RM20,000 and a maximum of RM150,000.

“The scheme is only for the permanent staff and thos who have access to the facilities provided by National Cooperative Organisation of Malaysia (Angkasa),” Norazian told reporters at the launch of the scheme here today.

Norazian said the bank offered competitive interest rate of 3.8 per cent and long repayment period.

The loans are also applicable to staff of cooperatives and statutory bodies, Norazian said.

Auditor sets up special state units


NILAI: The National Audit Department will establish a special audit sector at the state government level to ensure that local councils and statutory bodies are more transparent and accountable.

Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang said the sector will hopefully help to improve the public's confidence in the management of public funds.

"At the moment, there are a lot of issues raised regarding the management of public funds, especially at the state and local government level.

"With the establishment of the special audit sector, it is hoped that the public's confidence in the management of public funds will be improved," Ambrin said at the closing of an internal audit symposium at the National Audit Academy near here yesterday.

He also said that the department will take follow-up measures, including acquiring the services of experts, to further improve and enhance the management and effectiveness of internal audit in the public sector as well as to improve the integrity of the auditing service in the country.
He said that courses and training will also be organised for internal audit committee members to ensure that they have the necessary skills to undertake their responsibility.

"This is needed as there are still weaknesses which could lead to the professionalism and effectiveness of internal audit in the public sector being questioned.

"We will co-operate with the Association of Public Audit Institute to ensure the smooth running of these programmes as the internal audit unit is important to ensure accountability."

He also reminded those involved in internal auditing to continue improving their professionalism to ensure a satisfactory service and enhance the credibility of the department.

22 April 2008

Cuepacs demands: Focus on getting a better deal for competent workers


THE government rejected Cuepacs' demand for a one-off honorarium of RM2,000 for its 1.2 million civil servants. This was a wise decision. Cuepacs and the civil servants should instead be grateful to the government for the recent revision of the salary scheme.

Although the salary revision did not reflect the qualification and seniority of civil servants, I feel it is morally wrong of Cuepacs to demand an honorarium. The huge increase in pay, especially for support groups, is even better than an honorarium, and the increase in pay for those in the lower rungs is much higher than that for senior civil servants.

Cuepacs should now work on resolving more serious matters, including those involving senior civil servants who are always sidelined when new policies are implemented.

The request for the extension of the retirement age for civil servants to 60 is overdue. When we have politicians who are still serving at the ripe age of 70, why can't civil servants do the same?

If an employee feels that he cannot serve up to the age of 60, he or she should retire at 56 or even earlier. Let's hope the government implements the new retirement age soon.
I think there is one more thing Cuepacs overlooked when it presented its request to the government: gratuity. At the moment, civil servants are paid gratuity for a maximum of 25 years of service. This is not fair to those who have worked for more than 25 years. Some even retire after more than 35 years with the government. Why are these faithful servants of the nation not given due recognition?

As for the critical and housing allowances, sensible consideration should be given to those working in big towns and cities. The present housing allowance is definitely a pittance.

The Cuepacs president also announced that the PTK (Penilaian Tahap Kecekapan) will be restructured and the examination will be scrapped. Whether or not this is a good move is yet to be seen.

Instead of promoting a civil servant based on 40 objective questions, the government should look into a better system where competent and efficient civil servants are promoted based on meritocracy.

Promotions should also not depend heavily on appraisals by department heads because most of the time, cronies get the highest marks even when they are sleeping on the job.

Public varsities will know how they rate soon

The Star

PETALING JAYA: Public universities will have an indication of their overall competitiveness, when the results of the Rating System for Malaysian Higher Education (Setara) are released in the next two weeks.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the results of the rating would also assist the institutions to continually improve.

He was speaking to reporters after making his first visit to the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) yesterday.

Former Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said last year that a pilot test for the rating exercise using 2005 data from the public universities had been carried out but the results were not made public as there were inaccuracies in the data and queries about terminology.

Mohamed Khaled said he had asked the MQA to study if Setara could be extended to private universities and university colleges.

He said the ministry was also looking into whether all programmes at private institutions should be accredited.

“If Malaysia wants to become a regional centre of educational excellence, we need to be able to tell foreign students that the programmes offered are of quality,” he said.

About 39% of all programmes offered by private institutions are presently accredited.

Mohamed Khaled said the MQA would be carrying out an academic performance audit on 57 public and private institutions.

“The audit will begin in June this year and will check on the quality of teaching and learning in these institutions as stated under the National Higher Education Strategic Plan,” he said.

21 April 2008

Cuepacs proposes interviews

Cuepacs president Omar Osman met the prime minister last week
Cuepacs president Omar Osman met the prime minister last week

KANGAR: The Congress Of Unions Of Employees In The Public And Civil Services (Cuepacs) has proposed an interview test to replace the current efficiency level assessment (PTK) practised in the civil service.

Its president, Omar Osman, said a face-to-face interview may be more effective in evaluating the performance of civil servants, particularly those with seniority.

He said interviews could be implemented for those who were up for promotion.

The government had agreed to do away with the examination format for the PTK.

Speaking after a state-level Cuepacs convention, Omar said the Public Service Department had given Cuepacs until Thursday to gather feedback from its members to make additional recommendations or necessary changes on the matter.
The scrapping of the PTK was among the consensus reached during a meeting between Cuepacs' representatives and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last Thursday.

Under Cuepacs' plans, support service staff such as drivers and office assistants, would be assessed based on their daily performance.

Higher grade workers such as clerical and administrative staff would be evaluated while undergoing special workshops or training courses.

The government had also agreed to study other requests from Cuepacs: extending the retirement age to between 58 and 60; pensions based on actual years of service; re-introduction of the 10 per cent critical allowance and upgrading of housing allowances.

The government, however, turned down Cuepacs' request for a RM2,000 honorarium payment in lieu of a bonus last year.

Lanjut usia bersara tambah penganggur

Berita Harian

LANGKAH dan cadangan melanjutkan umur bersara penjawat awam dalam sektor perkhidmatan kerajaan harus diteliti dan dikaji sedalam-dalamnya sebelum dilaksanakan. Setiap yang membabitkan perubahan dasar, jika tersilap langkah, pasti membawa kesan buruk kepada kerajaan dan perkhidmatan yang diberikan.

Tempias daripada kepincangan itu ialah semua rakyat Malaysia. Umur sebenarnya mempengaruhi perlakuan, keupayaan dan kesihatan seseorang.

Tidak dinafikan, umur yang semakin meningkat menambah kematangan seseorang, namun sebaliknya ada kala umur meningkat pula mengurangkan tahap keupayaan dan kemampuan bekerja seseorang terutama dari segi fizikal.

Umur semakin meningkat selalunya dikaitkan dengan penyakit yang semakin bertambah dan keupayaan yang semakin rendah.

Manusia sebenarnya tidak dapat lari daripada memikirkan keuntungan diri sendiri tanpa mempedulikan kesusahan orang lain.

Cadangan meningkatkan usia bersara itu boleh dikaitkan dengan mencari keuntungan 'tak sudah-sudah' untuk diri sendiri pada hal kemampuan diri dan daya produktiviti sebenarnya sudah semakin berkurangan terutama bagi tugasan dalam sektor kerajaan yang menjurus keupayaan fizikal seperti kerjaya guru, jururawat, unit beruniform dan sebagainya.

Lainlah pekerjaan yang membabitkan seseorang kakitangan kerajaan yang harus memberi sumbangan idea seperti profesor, pakar perunding dan sebagainya.

Tugas yang menjadikan pengalaman sebagai aset untuk meningkatkan pencapaian.

Curahan minda dan idea mereka amat diperlukan untuk membangunkan negara dan seharusnya mereka dilanjutkan perkhidmatan hingga 65 tahun. Cuba kita selak rekod pesakit di Malaysia. Majoritinya pada usia memanjat 50 tahun, pelbagai penyakit mula mendekati rakyat Malaysia.

Antara senarai penyakit yang boleh menjejaskan keupayaan fizikal seseorang ialah kencing manis, darah tinggi, jantung dan sebagainya. Penyakit yang tersenarai itu adalah penyakit kronik yang tiada ubat dan secara realiti, mempengaruhi perjalanan hidup dan tugas seseorang jika dia seorang penjawat awam.

Jadi, jika dilanjutkan lagi usia perkhidmatan kakitangan sebegini, maka semakin pincanglah perkhidmatan kerajaan.

Saya sendiri pernah merasai berkhidmat dengan beberapa rakan guru yang dilanjutkan perkhidmatan mereka secara kontrak sehingga usia 60 tahun.

Mereka ini sebenarnya tidak banyak membantu meringankan beban guru lain di sekolah.

Mereka kadang-kadang banyak kerenah, menolak kerja fizikal, mengelak tugas berat dan yang lebih mengecewakan mereka kerap 'keluar masuk' hospital. Kita singkap pula dari sudut peluang pekerjaan baru bagi generasi anak kita.

Peluang mereka untuk bekerja dalam sektor awam tentu semakin menipis dan pengangguran di kalangan mereka tentu semakin menebal. Peluang untuk negara mendapat suntikan idea dan tenaga baru yang lebih segar tentu semakin berkurangan.

Ia sebenarnya boleh menjejaskan keupayaan sektor awam. Kepada penyokong usia bersara 60 tahun untuk perkhidmatan awam, renungilah kesan negatif di sebalik sokongan anda. Kasihanilah anak kita, anak saudara kita atau mungkin cucu-cicit kita.

Biarlah mereka pula menikmati hidup yang bermakna seperti yang sedang dan pernah kita rasai.

Biar lebih ramai 'benih-benih baru tumbuh segar' dalam sektor perkhidmatan awam dan mungkin benih itu adalah orang yang kita sayangi yang bakal mewarnai kesinambungan kejayaan negara.

Harapan saya, kekalkan usia bersara 56 tahun untuk kakitangan perkhidmatan awam. Kita sebagai manusia bukan diberi Allah kudrat yang semakin kuat tetapi semakin berkurangan.

Kepada kakitangan awam beragama Islam, ambillah peluang bersara pada usia 56 sekarang untuk menambah amal ibadat kepada Allah.

Jika masih dengan kesibukan bekerja, mana mungkin kita mampu melakukan ibadat yang berkualiti malah dibimbangi kita mungkin semakin jauh daripada Allah.

Fikirkanlah bersama, sama ada kita sudah cukup bekalan untuk menemui Yang Maha Pencipta. Fikirkan ia untuk kebaikan semua.

Semoga Perdana Menteri dapat membuat keputusan yang menguntungkan seluruh rakyat Malaysia dalam isu melanjutkan usia bersara untuk kakitangan awam.


Jabatan diminta elak pembaziran

Berita Harian

Oleh Fazli Abdullah

METERAI PERJANJIAN: Nor Mohamed (tengah) menyaksikan pertukaran dokumen MoU antara Abdul Wahab (kiri) dan Abdul Latif di Georgetown, semalam.

Potong perbelanjaan perkara tak perlu: Nor Mohamed

GEORGETOWN: Semua kementerian dan jabatan serta agensi kerajaan diminta berbelanja secara berhemat termasuk tidak menganjurkan majlis secara besar-besaran atau di hotel bertaraf lima bintang.

Menteri Kewangan Kedua, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, berkata ketika dunia berhadapan krisis makanan dan kenaikan kadar inflasi, negara perlu berhati-hati membelanjakan wang rakyat dan mengelakkan pembaziran.

"Perasmian sesuatu acara atau majlis menandatangani perjanjian tidak perlu diadakan di hotel besar bertaraf lima bintang kerana ia membabitkan perbelanjaan yang besar.

"Saya berharap semua agensi kerajaan dapat memotong perbelanjaan untuk perkara tidak perlu. Dalam keadaan inflasi sekarang, kita perlu memotong perbelanjaan yang tidak perlu. Wang yang dijimatkan itu boleh digunakan untuk membantu rakyat yang akan menerima faedahnya secara langsung," katanya.

Beliau bercakap kepada pemberita selepas menyaksikan majlis menandatangani memorandum persefahaman (MoU) antara Mimos Berhad (Mimos) dengan Mutiara.Com Sdn Bhd di Bangunan Umno, di sini semalam.

Hadir sama Timbalan Menteri Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi, Fadillah Yusof; Presiden dan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Mimos, Datuk Abdul Wahab Abdullah dan Pengerusi Mutiara.Com, Datuk Abdul Latif Mirasa.

Menerusi MoU itu, Kementerian Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi melantik Mutiara.Com sebagai penerima teknologi terkini dalam bidang pertanian yang dibangunkan Mimos untuk dikomersialkan menerusi Program Pelesenan Teknologi.

Nor Mohamed menjelaskan beliau membangkitkan perkara berkenaan sebagai peringatan bagi memastikan wang kerajaan dibelanjakan secara berhemat bagi mengelak pembaziran.

Katanya, ia bukan perkara baru kerana memang ada pekeliling mengenai perkara itu yang dikeluarkan sebelum ini.

"Saya hanya memberi ingatan supaya ketika dalam keadaan begini (krisis makanan global dan inflasi) perlu berjimat dengan mengurangkan pembaziran dan perbelanjaan, khususnya untuk sambutan yang meriah, macam-macam program diatur untuk majlis perasmian.

"Kita gunakan peruntukan yang ada supaya memberi faedah secara langsung kepada rakyat dan inilah yang disebutkan Perdana Menteri (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) sebagai program memfokuskan kepada rakyat," katanya.

Nor Mohamed berkata, program memberi fokus kepada rakyat bukan hanya merujuk kepada projek untuk penduduk di peringkat akar umbi, malah apa saja yang boleh memberikan kebaikan secara langsung kepada rakyat.

20 April 2008

Proud moment for maritime agency


KUANTAN: The first batch of 72 enforcement officers, including eight women passed out at the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency's temporary training centre yesterday.

Before this, the agency had absorbed 1,366 navy officers on direct appointments and took in another 119 under selective appointments from the Customs, Fisheries, Marine departments and the police.

It also recruited 72 officers and 762 personnel on contract and in temporary exchange programmes, while 103 were on loan from other enforcement agencies.

"This is a very important moment as the agency has proven that it can produce its own officers," said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Hasan Malek after the passing out parade of the new officers.

Also present were deputy director-general MMEA Rear-Admiral Datuk Noor Aziz Yunan and state police chief Datuk Ayob Mohamed.

Hasan later presented the overall best trainee award to Lieutenant Rizeki Roslidi. Lieutenant Mohd Faizul Mohamad Shayuti received the best in academic award and Lieutenant Mohamad Faizal Marzuki, the best in parade award.