12 September 2008

Ministry to help rural women set up business

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Women, Family and Community Develop­ment Ministry plans to churn out at least 1,000 women small-scale entrepreneurs every year.

Women Development Depart­ment director-general Datuk Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur said that efforts were ongoing to raise the economic status of rural women.

“The ministry plans to produce the 1,000 women entrepreneurs through micro-enterprising yearly which basically consists

of businesses with annual in-comes below RM250,000,” she said in her speech at the launch of local brand of female personal hygiene products at a hyper-

market here yesterday.

Dr Noorul Ainur said a jasmine or bunga melor cultivation project was launched on Aug 30 in Raub while a lemongrass project was in the works.

She said it was also an achievement that 21% of the Malaysia External Trade Development Cor­poration members were women.

“These days, women are not just consumers but they are also producers,” she said.

Dr Noorul Ainur also hoped that more private companies would help market local brands managed by women to create a good platform for the companies to take flight.

Military to stay apolitical

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The chief of defence for­ces has given an assurance that the De­­fence Forces has no intention of interfering in the country’s political affairs.

Jeneral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal said the defence forces would leave it to the Government to handle the is­­sue of race relations, which has been played up by some parties lately.

“The defence forces is professional and apolitical. I was only voicing my concern on the issue,” he said of his call to the Government on Tuesday to take stern action against those who stoke racial sentiments.

He reiterated his call yesterday but added that the defence forces would not get involved in “internal squabbles” unless requested to do so, through the legal process, by either the authorities or police.

“Our secondary role is to support the police and government agencies in any form of operations we are requested to, such as for internal security, humanitarian and disaster relief operations,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Jen Abdul Aziz: Says the military will leave it to the Government to handle the issue of race relations.

On certain quarters expressing con­cern that his call to the Go­­vernment was an interference by the defence forces chief in politics, he said that was just a perception.

On the level of race relations, he said it was up to the individual to judge but he be­­lieved it was moving to something po­­sitive.

“I don’t think the situation warrants us to be overly concerned. No country wishes to see itself in turmoil. The leadership is trying its best,” he said.

On whether the defence forces would work with a Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim government, he said: “I don’t know about a change of Govern­ment.”

Asked if the defence forces was prepared to deal with a racial clash, he said: “The theme of our Armed Forces Day this year is ‘our commitment is your confidence’.”

11 September 2008

Kerajaan Lulus Kenaikan Pangkat 2,787 Warga Pendidik

KUALA KANGSAR, 11 Sept (Bernama) -- Kerajaan meluluskan kenaikan pangkat 2,787 Pegawai Perkhidmatan Pendidikan Siswazah (PPPS) yang berkhidmat di bawah Bahagian Pendidikan Guru (BPG), Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia.

Ketika mengumumkan demikian, Menteri Pelajaran Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein berkata cadangan yang dikemukakan oleh kementeriannya itu diluluskan dalam Mesyuarat Lembaga Kenaikan Pangkat, Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam pada 25 Ogos lepas.

"Kelulusan fasa pertama ini akan melibatkan kenaikan pangkat pelbagai gred seramai 2,787 orang pegawai yang berkhidmat di BPG dan pensyarah yang bertugas di kesemua 27 buah Institut Pendidikan Guru (IPG) serta Pusat Latihan Bahasa Inggeris (ELTC)," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian menerusi satu kenyataan sempena majlis berbuka puasa Raja Muda Perak bersama pengetua dan guru besar negeri Perak di Istana Iskandariah di sini hari Khamis.

Daripada jumlah itu, 793 orang PPPS Gred DG41 akan dinaikkan pangkat ke Gred DG44, 1,540 orang PPPS Gred DG44 dinaikkan ke Gred DG48, 449 orang PPPS Gred DG48 dinaikkan ke Gred DG52 dan lima orang PPPS Gred DG52 pula dilantik ke Gred DG54, katanya.

Hishammuddin berkata senarai nama pegawai dan pensyarah yang terlibat telahpun diperakukan oleh BPG untuk ke peringkat tapisan keutuhan dan surat pelantikan akan dikeluarkan oleh Bahagian Sumber Manusia dalam masa terdekat.

Beliau berkata mereka yang terlibat dalam proses kenaikan pangkat itu akan menerima kenaikan tangga gaji dan elaun.

"Pada masa yang sama, BPG juga sedang memproses senarai cadangan berikutnya untuk proses kenaikan pangkat fasa kedua," katanya.

Beliau berkata kelulusan tersebut merupakan satu berita baik yang amat dinanti-nantikan oleh warga pendidik khususnya di IPG.

Katanya ia merupakan satu perkembangan penting dan amat signifikan dalam sejarah perkhidmatan perguruan khususnya dalam bidang latihan keguruan.

"Selain daripada mengiktiraf peranan tenaga pengajar sedia ada yang telah menunjukkan prestasi yang cemerlang, strategi ini juga bertujuan untuk menarik para guru yang mempunyai kelayakan, kemahiran dan pengalaman yang terbaik untuk berkhidmat di IPG," katanya.


Bigger bonus for Perak civil servants

The Star

IPOH: The Perak government has approved a one-month bonus for its civil servants, similar to what federal officers in the state will get, but the minimum payout will be higher than the RM1,000 under the national Budget.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said: “We will give them a little bit more, maybe RM1,100 or RM1,200. We will decide on this soon.”

Speaking after chairing the state executive council meeting here yesterday, Nizar added that the extra would help the lower income group celebrate the coming Hari Raya.

“We also want to show our appreciation for the state civil service, and we hope that this will boost their work performance so that Perak can further excel,” he said.

Nizar said the bonuses would be given in a one-off payment before Hari Raya and would involve some RM16mil for the state’s more than 8,000 civil servants.

On a separate matter, Nizar said the state government had formed a committee to handle mining activities. If everything went as planned, the mining industry in Perak would resume by the year-end.

Bonus for ‘clean’ staff only

The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Civil servants who have been suspended or have accusations levelled against them will not get their bonus just yet.

Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam said these officers would have to wait until they have been cleared or dealt with by the disciplinary committee.

“They will be eligible for bonus if the disciplinary committee subsequently decides to give them a warning for misconduct.

“However, they will not be eligible to receive the bonus if they face other discplinary action besides receiving a stern warning from the committee,” he said in a circular dated Sept 9.

Ismail said other civil servants not eligible for the bonus payment included those taking unpaid leave or seconded to international bodies or private companies for the whole of the year.

“Those civil servants working in agencies whose salaries come under different management will also not be eligible,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced in Budget 2009 a bonus of one month salary for civil servants, subject to a minimum of RM1,000, to be paid in two instalments.

The bonus payment to 1.2 million civil servants is expected to cost the Government some RM1.5bil.

Ismail said the bonus payments would be based on August salaries.

Civil servants appointed this year and those who retire or resign this year would be paid proportionately, he said.

On another matter, the Defence Ministry said retired servicemen who had previously served at least 21 years would now be eligible to receive pensions of not less than RM720 per month.

In a statement, the ministry said the decision to include these retired personnel among those qualified to receive the RM720 pension payment announced under the Budget was made in a Cabinet Committee on Civil Service Appointments and Salaries meeting on Tuesday.

The Budget had stated that retired personnel who had served more than 25 years would be entitled to the pension beginning Jan 1.

The ministry said the decision to include the retired personnel serving at least 21 years in the group was to honour their contribution and to help pensioners with low incomes to face the rising cost of living.

AirAsia targets sale of 100,000 seats to civil servants

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Bhd is hoping to sell more than 100,000 airplane seats to civil servants by the end of the year, which will translate to about RM50mil in revenue.

Its commercial executive vice-president Kathleen Tan said that since introducing the Government Fare Scheme in June, more than 5,000 discounted tickets have been sold every month to civil servants.

“Response has been great. By the end of 2009, we are looking to get 50% of the RM500mil spent by the Government every year on travelling,” she told the press here on Thursday.

She said this after AirAsia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) on Thursday to provide affordable travel for government servants across Asia.

Under the scheme, all government officials can get a 20% to 30% discount on the published fares for all AirAsia destinations on work-related travels.

Tan also said that the most popular routes for civil servants were to China, Indonesia and domestic routes.

When asked if AirAsia would reduce its fuel surcharge in view of declining world crude oil prices, Tan said that there was a possibility.

“We will have to watch, but if it drops low enough, we will consider reviewing the fuel surcharge,” she said.

Also present was AirAsia Bhd chairman Datuk Aziz Bakar and Matta president Ngiam Foon, who both signed the MoU.

Puspakom guna khidmat Rela

Berita Harian

Pastikan operasi berjalan lancar tanpa sebarang gangguan orang tengah

KUALA LUMPUR: Pusat Pemeriksaan Kenderaan Berkomputer (Puspakom) menempatkan anggota Rela yang bertugas selama 24 jam di pusat pemeriksaan kenderaannya bagi mencegah kemasukan perantara atau 'runner' yang boleh mengganggu operasi mereka.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Puspakom, Datuk Salamat Wahit, berkata setakat ini, anggota Rela sudah memulakan tugas mereka di lima pusat pemeriksaan kenderaan Puspakom yang utama iaitu di Wangsa Maju di ibu kota; Padang Jawa, Selangor, George Town, Pulau Pinang; Kuching, Sarawak dan Johor Bahru, Johor.

Beliau berkata, selain memantau pergerakan 'runner', anggota Rela juga berperanan menjaga keselamatan pusat pemeriksaan itu dan memantau aliran trafik yang memasuki Puspakom bagi tujuan pemeriksaan.

"Puspakom meminta bantuan Rela bagi memastikan operasi pusat pemeriksaan berjalan lancar tanpa sebarang gangguan 'orang tengah' dan membolehkan pelanggan berunding terus di kaunter Puspakom.

"Puspakom amat berpuas hati dengan kerja yang dilakukan oleh anggota Rela dan sebelum memperluaskan khidmat mereka ke seluruh negara, kita perlu mendapatkan kebenaran daripada kerajaan terlebih dulu.

"Puspakom juga perlu mengenal pasti beberapa perkara seperti jumlah anggota Rela yang diperlukan di sesuatu pusat pemeriksaan kenderaan sebelum memaklumkan kehendak Puspakom kepada pihak berkuasa," katanya kepada Berita Harian, di sini semalam.

Sementara itu, Ketua Pengarah Rela, Datuk Zaidon Asmuni ketika dihubungi Berita Harian, semalam berkata, pihaknya sedia bekerjasama dengan Puspakom bagi memastikan operasi agensi itu berjalan lancar.

"Jumlah anggota Rela yang diperlukan, bagaimanapun bergantung kepada keperluan Puspakom. Kita tiada halangan untuk bekerjasama dengan mereka (Puspakom)," katanya.

"Saya difahamkan seramai 15 anggota Rela ditempatkan di pusat pemeriksaan Puspakom Padang Jawa dan Wangsa Maju untuk tempoh satu bulan. Mereka ini bertugas selama 24 jam dan memastikan tidak berlaku pergaduhan dalam pusat pemeriksaan kenderaan," katanya.

08 September 2008

Abdullah Mahu Kakitangan Awam Laksana Cadangan Dalam Bajet 2009 Sebaik-Baiknya

PUTRAJAYA, 8 Sept (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hari ini mengingatkan kakitangan kerajaan agar semua cadangan di dalam Bajet 2009 yang dibentangkan di Dewan Rakyat pada 29 Ogos lepas, dilaksanakan dengan sebaik-baiknya.

Perdana Menteri berkata kritikan berhubung cadangan itu pasti ada tetapi masalahnya bukan kerana kekurangan idea atau rencana yang baik, mahupun untuk membuat perubahan tetapi kekurangan daripada segi kemampuan untuk melaksanakannya.

"Kami tidak kekurangan idea, atau perancangan yang baik tetapi kami kekurangan daripada segi kemampuan untuk melaksanakannya. Ini menjadi satu pandangan yang biasa dikemukakan.

"Tentu sekali ini dapat kita atasi, dengan prestasi yang dibuktikan baru-baru ini tetapi juga menjadi ingatan kepada semua agar apa yang telah dicadangkan untuk dilaksanakan itu mesti dilaksanakan sebaik-baiknya," katanya pada perhimpunan bulanan Jabatan Perdana Menteri (JPM) di Dataran Perdana di sini.

Katanya jika semua kakitangan kerajaan mempunyai azam dan tekad, beliau percaya masalah tidak akan timbul dan kejayaan akan diperoleh untuk kebaikan kepada negara dan rakyat.

Abdullah turut berasa gembira berikutan Laporan Audit menunjukkan beberapa jabatan di JPM telah menunjukkan prestasi baik.

"Kepada mereka diucapkan tahniah dan adalah menjadi harapan saya agar prestasi itu perlu ditingkatkan lagi ke tahap yang lebih tinggi," katanya.

Beliau juga bersyukur berikutan usaha yang bersungguh-sungguh dan pelbagai langkah dijalankan oleh jabatan masing-masing serta peranan yang dijayakan oleh Pasukan Petugas Khas Pemudahcara Perniagaan (Pemudah), kedudukan tahap daya saing negara berjaya ditingkatkan ke tangga 19 tahun ini berbanding 23 pada tahun lalu.

"Ini adalah satu lagi kejayaan yang telah kita capai. Ini membuktikan kepada kita bahawasanya kejayaan yang boleh kita perolehi itu bergantung kepada kita," katanya.

Bagaimanapun, kata Perdana Menteri perhatian khusus perlu diberikan kepada sistem dan prosedur serta keperluan birokrasi dikurangkan kepada seminimum mungkin.

"Sistem yang terbaik sekalipun jika sekiranya orang yang mengendalikan sistem itu kurang semangat, minat dan berilmu pengetahuan, maka sistem yang baik tidak akan menghasilkan prestasi yang tinggi seperti yang diharapkan.

"Ertinya kombinasi di antara modal insan dan prosedur itu mesti berada pada tahap yang sama tinggi, setinggi yang boleh," katanya.

Abdullah berkata dengan itu, barulah sistem yang diperbaiki, peraturan yang diperkenalkan akan dapat membawa kejayaan yang lebih baik dan pegawainya yang benar-benar komited mampu menjayakan apa jua tanggungjawab yang diberikan.


Ada Jabatan Hanya Sedapkan Telinga Menteri Menerusi Laporan Pencapaian, Kata Pengerusi PAC


PADANG BESAR, 8 Sept (Bernama) -- Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kira-kira Wang Negara (PAC) Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid berkata terdapat jabatan dan agensi tertentu yang menyediakan laporan pencapaian program hanya untuk menyedapkan hati menteri sedangkan prestasinya tidak seberapa.

Menurutnya laporan yang disediakan memang menarik dan membanggakan menteri tetapi jika tinjauan sebenar dibuat, ia jelas menampakkan pelbagai kelemahan.

Beliau berkata program hala cara baru yang diperkenal pada 1985 di Kampung Tersusun Padang Besar adalah antara contoh kegagalan kerana 114 keluarga yang terbabit dalam program itu bukan sahaja tidak dapat menambah pendapatan tetapi ada yang menjadi lebih miskin.

"Dulu mereka hidup dengan selesa, sekarang banyak yang terpaksa menjadi penerima bantuan kebajikan. Ada juga yang jadi peserta PPRT (Program Pembangunan Rakyat Termiskin)," kata Azmi ketika mengiringi Menteri Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani Datuk Mustapa Mohamed melawat kampung itu hari ini.

Namun, kata Azmi, ada jabatan dan agensi yang terbabit dengan program itu telah melaporkan sesuatu yang hanya sedap didengar oleh menteri.

Azmi, yang juga bekas menteri kabinet, berharap menteri bukan sekadar menerima laporan yang dibentangkan oleh jabatan dan agensi di bawah kementerian masing-masing tetapi turut meninjau sendiri keadaan peserta projek terbabit.

"Saya tak kata semua jabatan dan agensi buat laporan tidak betul tetapi ada laporan yang didapati tidak sama dengan apa yang sebenar," kata Azmi yang juga Anggota Parlimen Padang Besar.

Katanya beliau tidak menyalahkan 100 peratus pegawai yang menyediakan laporan kerana ada pegawai sering bertukar dan mereka terpengaruh dengan laporan pegawai terdahulu.