NEW CIVIL SERVICE REMUNATION SCHEME (SBPA) | it is a basket-full of goodies for civil servants under the government's new Civil Service Remuneration Scheme (SBPA), which was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak in the 2012 Budget today. Under this new scheme, civil servants will see an annual increment of between RM80 and RM320, in addition to another 7%- 13% increment for those who opt to accept the SBPA.
A single-tier structure with additional increments to enable civil servants to continue receiving annual increments over a longer period will also be implemented, effectively raising maximum salary by up to 39%. Najib, in his second Budget announcement under the five-year 10th Malaysia Plan, also announced an additional half month bonus for civil servants and pensioners.
"Recognising the support and commitment shown by civil servants towards achieving the national development goal, I am pleased to announce and additional bonus of half-month salary with a minimum payment of RM 500 and an assistance of RM500 to government pensioners, to be paid together with the December salary this year.
"This totals to a one month bonus with a minimum payment of RM1,000 for civil servants and RM1,000 for government pensioners," he said.Najib also announced that the retirement age for civil servants would be increased from 58 now to 60. The prime minister said civil servants aged 55 to 60 were capable of contributing based on their skills and experience.
"The government will extend the compulsory retirement age from 58 years to 60 to optimise the civil servants' contribution. This extension will not jeorpardise employment prospects for the younger generation as the public and private sectors will continue to create new job opportunities," he said.
Another perk for civil servants is a tuition fee assistance to further their studies on a part time basis.
"With the cooperation of public tertiary education institutions, the government will offer 5,000 masters scholarships and 500 doctoral scholarships to eligible civil servants, including teachers with an allocation of RM120 million," said Najib.
The boost to the civil service has been warmly welcomed. National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary general Loke Yim Peng said, the Budget was unexpected in the sense that teachers were not the only ones to benefit, but students and the education sector as a whole received a big boost. "It is a budget with something for everybody.
"The salary increment will boost the spirit of teachers, and the tuition fees assistance will create more knowledgeable, skillful teachers. Increasing the maximum salary will also make the teaching profession more attractive," she said.
She also commended the move to abolish all miscellaneous school fees from the 2012 school year onwards, and providing free primary and secondary education to all Malaysians."I am proud to see the government truly spending money to improve education," she said.
The education sector will also see a boost of RM50.2 billion in 2012, with RM1.9 billion development allocation to the Education Ministry for all types of schools. In addition, RM1 billion will go towards the construction, improvement, and maintenance of schools. Primary and secondary school students from low and middle income groups will receive RM100 schooling assistance, while Malaysian students in private and public local institutions of higher learning, and pre-univerisity students will receive a book voucher worth RM200.
Loke said, this will ease the end-year burden of low income families who struggle to pay fees or pay for school books. "Some students cannot come to school because they simply cannot afford to, but will now have a chance to receive help," she said.
Loke, who is also Cuepacs secretary general, said pensioners will also benefit greatly from the increment of 2% in their pension allowance every year, adding that it is a show of commitment by the government towards a high-income nation.
She said, there may be initial teething problems in transitioning to the new SBPA scheme from the Sistem Saraan Malaysia (SSM) scheme, but the civil service will have to collectively prove themselves and work harder than ever.She also warmly welcomed the increase in the retirement age, saying it will give civil servants the opportunity to contribute to the government for a longer period