Potential law-makers standing for elections must stand up for the financial needs of pensioners, urges Mahalingam Kathirasu.
The truth is that the government pensioners have been ‘taken for a ride’ and sidelined by those whom they have trusted. Most people seem to be ‘hand in glove’ in this matter of injustice to the pensioners. It is shocking to note that promises made by the 1 Malaysia government are not being implemented as promised.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for the benefit of the government pensioners had promised on 7 October 2011 in the following Paragraph 57 of the Budget 2012 speech that effective from 2013 the Government will implement an annual pension increment of 2 per cent without having to wait for any review of the remuneration system or salary adjustments.
(Paragraph 57) The government realises the financial burden faced by pensioners. With the implementation of SBPA, more than 600,000 government pensioners will benefit from a pension adjustment which involves an allocation of RM600m. Effective 2013, the government will implement an annual pension increment of 2 per cent without having to wait for any review of the remuneration system or salary adjustments.
In spite of our Prime Minister realising the financial burden faced by the pensioners and having taken a decision that effective from 2013 the government will implement an annual pension increment of 2 per cent without having to wait for any review of the remuneration system or salary adjustments to ease their burden, that pledge and decision unfortunately was not honoured and implemented.
Initially, the SSM 2012 salary revision – the SBPA was scrapped due to serious flaws – was implemented by using a new unknown system called ‘Jadual Gaji Minimum-Maksimum’ (JGMM) so as to remove the existing civil service salary scales which are used to fix the pensions. In fact, with this SSM 2012 salary revision there are no more proper civil service salary scales. Normally, salary revisions are done using ‘Jadual Gaji Matriks‘ (JGM).
Secondly, with effect from 1 January 2013 when implementing the annual pension increment of 2 per cent, the relevant provision provided in the ‘Pensions Adjustment Act 1980‘ pertaining to pensions adjustment has been very discreetly deleted from the Act. As a result, the pensioners have been cheated and denied their promised due in spite of their contribution to nation building for many years.
I sincerely call upon the potential law makers who are standing for the 2013 General Election to consider this issue as part of their election manifesto as the government pensioners and their families form about 1.3 million eligible voters.
Let us vote for a fair and just government for the rakyat.
Mahalingam Kathirasu is an avid reader of Aliran.