Pay hike ‘should follow for private sector, too’
By : Regina Lee
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KUALA LUMPUR: The salary revision for civil servants should be followed by a hike in private sector wages, according to the Malaysian Trades’ Union Congress.
Its president, Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud, said the private sector should use the government as a benchmark as far as wages were concerned.
"The government is the single largest employer in the country with 1.2 million staff.
"When someone wants to see changes in the country, he or she will look to the government and see what they are doing. There has to be a pay rise as well in the private sector."
He applauded the long overdue pay hike but said it should have occurred much earlier due to rising cost of living.
"Looking back at the past two to three years, there has been a tremendous increase in the cost of living, especially in the prices of rice, petroleum products, highway tolls and utilities."
Meanwhile, the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) welcomed the salary increase and hoped that it would make civil servants happy.
Its Centre of Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said better wages should encourage civil servants to improve the delivery system and increase productivity.
"If productivity improves, so will government revenue. If not, the budget will be thrown off-balance."
He agreed with Syed Shahir that private sector workers should also get a pay hike.
"The private sector can now ask for more pay but all this must be related to meritocracy and increased productivity in order to make Malaysia more competitive," he said.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007