KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 – The Public Service Department (JPA) has opened eligibility for all contract officers in government – including health care workers – to claim for interstate transfer expenses from last October 9.
According to a circular last October 9 by JPA director-general Zulkapli Mohamed – which was posted by the Malaysian Medical Association Schomos – permanent public servants were eligible for benefits like visiting their home state (Tambang Mengunjungi Wilayah Asal), welfare (Tambang Ihsan), funeral accompaniment (Tambang Mengiringi Jenazah), and transfer of belongings (Tambang Mengurus Pemindahan Barang), since January 1, 2022.
The definition of “officer” in the 2022 circular for interstate transfer benefits was expanded beyond permanent officers to also cover temporary or contract of service staff, effective from October 9, 2023.
“This decision will benefit 40,982 contract officers in the Ministry of Health (MOH) that covers 21 service schemes,” Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said in a statement yesterday.
“This also proves the government’s consideration in protecting the welfare of public servants, including temporary and contract officers in the MOH.”
The JPA’s decision to only open up interstate transfer claims to contract staff from last October 9 means that those among the 4,100 over medical officers, plus more than 300 dental officers and over 300 pharmacy officers who relocated for permanent appointments last July 31, are not eligible to claim for their transfer expenses.
A UD43 medical officer previously complained about having to pawn her gold and withdraw from her Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) account to finance their transfer from Kuala Lumpur to Sabah for her July 31 permanent appointment.
The government doctor, who was working at a public health clinic, estimated a minimum RM5,000 cost for her transfer to Sabah, comprising cargo flight, flight tickets, house rental, daily car rentals, and accommodation pending moving into her rented place.
The MOH’s Human Resource Division (BSM) had said that the over 4,000 contract doctors, dentists, and pharmacists receiving placements for their July 31 permanent appointments were not eligible to claim for their transfers because the period of their service was deemed to have been “disrupted” from contract to permanent.
However, JPA’s new policy benefits some 1,900 reserve candidates among contract medical, dental, and pharmacy officers in the MOH’s placement exercise this month for permanent appointments that will take effect on December 18, the same date as reporting for duty.