09 March 2009

Maternity leave extended to 3 months in Selangor

By Neville Spykerman

SHAH ALAM, March 8 — Civil servants in Selangor now have the option to take up to ninety days maternity leave to care for their newborns, while paternity leave has been increased to 14 days.

The announcement aptly made today on International Women’s Day, by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, was met by applause from over 6,000 members of village security and development (JKKK) committees, from throughout Selangor at a special gathering here today.

Previously women enjoyed two months maternity leave while husbands got seven days to be with their wives.

The Selangor Menteri Besar also announced that widows would get 30 days of compassionate leave compared to the current three days of unrecorded leave.

He was speaking to the village committee leaders during a special meeting to commemorate Pakatan Rakyat’s first year in administrating Selangor.

During the event, he elaborated on the various funds available to the poor, elderly and for higher education, to the village leaders.

During a press conference later, Khalid denied the move to extend the maternity leave period would lead to inefficiency in the state administration.

He said it been proven that most cases of infant mortality occurred in the first 100 or 200 days of a baby’s life and more maternity leave will allow mothers to care for their newborns.

“It a form of welfare and mothers can use the leave, if they want, to get immunisation injections for their babies.”

Khalid said the state was also looking to extend more benefits to the elderly, numbering between 400,000 and 500,000, in Selangor.

These benefits include providing medical care, insurance, as well as food subsidies, to ensure the elderly are comfortable, in their golden years.

“We intend to collaborate with insurance companies, and even supermarkets to provide coupons for certain goods, for the elderly.” he said

Khalid also announced that state-owned Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd, which had been tasked to take over all sand mining in Selangor, had made RM50 million in profits.

“The profits were accumulated in just six months and will be channelled to the various funds, established to aid the people of Selangor.”

Previously it was reported that Selangor only received RM17 million annually from royalties from sand mining which was carried out by private contractors.

Khalid also took a swipe at his detractors during his speech.

“I hope all parties, especially those who have lost (political) power in Selangor are prepared to understand that Pakatan Rakyat has only been in power for one year.”

He said God willing, Pakatan Rakyat, would fulfil all election promises unlike the previous administration.