Policy paper: Improve Malaysia’s pension scheme by hiking age, cutting civil servants

Source: The Malay Mail Online

In EPF data reportedly dating back to 2015, 68 per cent of EPF members have less than RM50,000 in savings by the age of 54, while only 22 per cent had managed to save up to the then minimum targeted amount of RM196,800 set by EPF. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — Malaysia’s retirement fund systems for both the private and public sectors can be improved by increasing the pension age and by cutting down the number of civil servants, a policy paper launched recently suggested.

The policy paper co-authored by three academics said problems may arise in a social welfare system that is heavily dependent on young people’s contribution to support a growing number of senior citizens.

The 38-page policy paper by the Academy of Responsible Management was co-authored by Universiti Malaya’s Prof Edmund Terence Gomez, Institute for Leadership and Development Studies’ Noor Amin Ahmad, HELP University’s Prof Geoffrey Williams, with support from German political foundation Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

It noted that Malaysia’s senior citizens — defined as aged over 60 — amounted to 9.5 per cent of the Malaysian population in 2016, while the United Nations 2016 Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific had projected this age group to grow to 23.6 per cent or almost a quarter of the country’s population by 2050.

“The public sector is at the centre of this dilemma as the largest employer in Malaysia,” the policy paper titled “Intervention and Non-intervention: Policy Ideas for a Social Market Economy in Malaysia” said, noting that the government’s bill for pension and retirement payments nearly tripled from RM8.25 billion to RM21.76 billion between 2007 and 2017. Read more

Keep politics out of civil service — Emmanuel Joseph

Source: The Malaysian Insight

BY EMMANUEL JOSEPH

RECENTLY, the Education Minister warned teachers and staff of the Education Ministry to stay out of “opposition” political activities. Strangely, later in the speech, the minister appeared to encourage the same audience to participate in ‘government’ party activites.

As lopsided as his comment seemed, the minister was not really suggesting something new, but merely putting on record, what appears to be the unwritten rule about political participation amongst civil servants; open support for the opposition is frowned upon, while open support for the Government is quite encouraged.

This policy, partially official but partially not, also sees schools, hospitals, mosques and other government-run facilities, shy away from hosting visits by opposition leaders, even if they are members of a state government that is run by the (Federal) opposition.

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Political impartiality of civil service — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

IN a recent address to civil servants Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak likened the inseparability of the government and the civil service (known in Malaysian law as “public service”) to the proverbial “ibarat aur dengan tebing” (like the bamboo and river bank). True indeed. Because, as he alluded to earlier, civil servants develop and implement government policies. And serve the government of the day, as the prime minister noted. He went on to lambast, “particularly the Opposition”, for insulting or slandering civil servants with “those nasty words … directed at the whole government and vice versa”.

“Hence, we should be grateful for the benefits that we are enjoying and not allow this country to fall into their hands as they do not appreciate the toil and contributions of the civil servants,” he added.
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MACC: Half of civil servants found guilty of graft are under 40

Source: New Strait Times

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today revealed that half of Malaysian government officers found guilty of graft are under the age of 40.

MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner (Prevention) Datuk Shamshun Baharin Mohd Jamil attributed the corruption among young civil servants to today’s demanding lifestyle.

“We have cases where junior government officers and clerks can afford to buy the latest iPhone models and drive expensive cars. Their flashy lifestyle does not match their measly pay as young officers and administrative assistants under the government pay scale.”

Shamsun Baharin was speaking at a joint-forum with the Rural and Regional Development Ministry here.

MACC figures state that between 2014 to 2016, 2,329 arrests were made for graft. From that figure, 54 per cent or 1,267 people were aged 40 and below. Read more

Change the way top civil service appointments are made – Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim

Source: FMT News

Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim - Pic from FMT News

\ Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim – Pic from FMT News

BY MOHD SHERIFF MOHD KASSIM

I agree with those who say that it is unfair to jump to conclusions about the appointment of Madinah Mohamad as the new auditor-general because of her husband’s political links.

She should be given the chance to prove her integrity as a person who the public can trust to carry out this heavy responsibility of auditing the management of public funds by government ministries and agencies and reporting to parliament faithfully and professionally, without fear or favour, as her predecessor Ambrin Buang had done in the auditor-general’s annual reports.

His exposure of the weaknesses in financial management and the abuse of power at the administrative and political levels have made him one of the most respected civil servants. Read more

Bankrupt pension systems: What say you? — Saleh Mohammed

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY SALEH MOHAMMED

SEPT 8 — Bankrupt Pension Systems: Crisis in Modern Society, that was the title of an article written by Tom Pu-chih Hsieh, the executive editor of The China Postlast week.

According to a recent study by Allianz, pension systems in most Asian countries are “fragile and unstable”. Also, there is a gap of US$78 trillion (RM318.5 trillion) in pension funds among the 20 richest countries in the world.

In Taiwan, the pension issue is severe. Taiwan is the most populous non-United Nation state and the largest economy outside the UN. Civil servants are protesting government’s plan to cut their benefits, while a smear campaign accuses them of causing the pension system’s woes in the first place. But over there, the average monthly pension for civil servants is at least three to four times higher than that of those in the private sector.

It is estimated that Taiwan’s pension system for civil servants will be depleted in about 10 years if no drastic changes are made. The government is preparing to alter its Income Replacement Ratio, which is currently the highest in the world.  Read more