Said My Goodbyes To KKM – Pharmacist Afifah Aziz

The reason why I chose to “betray” the Ministry of Health is because they did it to me first.

I always figured myself as a loyal person. But in truth, I’m just not comfortable with adjusting myself to a new culture, new workplace, new everything, so believe me, this decision wasn’t as easy as you would think.

But then again, my personal experience was what pushed me to the edge. The reason why I chose to “betray” the Ministry of Health (MOH) is because they did it to me first.

It’s a story that can be summarised in three points:

1. After four years of being denied a permanent posting, with a grade of UF44, I was called to report for duty in Sabah with a grade of UF41. Downgrading my grade means disregarding all of my four years of service in the MOH. “Lantikan baru,” they said. I said, “It’s okay. At least it’s a permanent posting. I don’t value people by grade so it shouldn’t be any different for me too. Let’s do it.”

2. “Your moving-to-Sabah expenses would not be covered by us as you’re not eligible for it.” Although it was our service that is needed in a place far away from where we call home, we were treated like desperate beggars for work. The usual excuses made by those who come before us: “Macam biasa la, they will say if you tak nak, quit la. Banyak lagi orang nak tempat you.” I said, “It’s okay, we can’t always get it easy. Let’s do this.” What I mean by moving expenses are transportation, the cost of moving personal belongings, and gaji pokok tak ditarik. Instead, my allowance as a UF44 grade officer was taken away after I was downgraded to UF41.

3. “You’re no longer eligible to be paid as per UF44, we will deduct the sum of money that we ‘overpaid’ you and start paying you with a lower wage because you’re now UF41.” This was the final straw. It’s not the money; it’s the gesture.

It’s not easy moving out and being far away from your family, but I held my anger in because I have heard of my colleagues’ worse experiences. I’m not alone in this, but what’s the point of us speaking out if our voices do not echo?

This is why when unexpectedly; I was offered a job in Peninsular Malaysia, it took me only three days to decide while asking a question nobody was able to answer: “Am I losing anything if I quit MOH?”

That is why, with nothing to lose, I’m now on my flight back to Kulim, hopeful for my next adventure.

This letter was originally published on Afifah Aziz’s Facebook page and republished with permission by CodeBlue.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.

You may also like