Ministers Didn’t Carefully Read Paper On Critical Allowance Cut, Khalid Says

Khalid Samad asks why the paper on abolishing the critical allowance was presented on the day of the Cabinet meeting itself, instead of the conventional two weeks prior.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad admitted that he and his Cabinet colleagues did not thoroughly examine a paper on scrapping professional civil servants’ critical allowance before approving it.

Free Malaysia Today reported Khalid as saying that federal ministers couldn’t read the complete paper because it was presented to ministers on the day of the Cabinet meeting itself, instead of two weeks prior like usual.

“We couldn’t read everything and it was approved,” Khalid told reporters in Putrajaya yesterday. “Why the rush?”

The Amanah lawmaker reportedly said the Cabinet paper had a heading that mentioned an “adjustment” to allowances, but the paper stated later on that it was a withdrawal of the allowance.

“We do not want to say there is sabotage, we do not know, but maybe those who submitted the paper may have thought it was merely an administrative matter.”

After CodeBlue broke the story on Christmas Eve about a Public Service Department (JPA) circular announcing the repeal of the Critical Service Incentive Payment (BIPK) for health workers and other professionals across 33 Critical Service schemes in the public sector appointed from next year, several ministers expressed shock at the news.

Amid uproar from medical associations, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman later announced that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has decided to postpone abolishing the critical allowance.

The BIPK critical allowance is RM750 monthly for doctors, pharmacists and dentists, and up to 15 per cent of the monthly basic salary for nurses. For other professionals in the civil service, including medical assistants, engineers, and architects, it’s between 5 and 10 per cent of their monthly basic salary.

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