KOTA KINABALU: A community group today urged the state local government and housing ministry to look into the plight of Penampang district council staff who are unsure of their employment status.
Pergerakan Pemantau Sukarelawan Penampang (Pantau Penampang) chairman Jo Nandu said there was a group of staff members whose status was listed as “temporary”.
These workers have yet to be upgraded to become permanent staff despite having worked for more than a decade and passed the requisite requirements for their upgrading, he added.
“This is bad because some of them may miss out on the pension scheme if this continues and this matter is not dealt with immediately.
“I understand the district council has already submitted the names of those eligible for upgrading to the ministry.
“I hope the new minister will look into this matter immediately.”
Nandu also questioned the future of some of the district council staff who are listed as daily wage earners.
“If we don’t treat our local staff properly by giving them fixed monthly wages, then in the future, our locals will shun away from these jobs.
“If this happens, we will start to privatise some of the jobs or, worse, employ foreigners to do the jobs.”
Nandu also claimed nepotism was practised in the district council and called for an end to such practices.
“Employment in the Penampang district council must be made through the meritocracy system. Preference should be given to Penampang folks who reside in the district and not those from elsewhere, such as Tuaran or Putatan.”
Those from elsewhere should only be employed if there is an acute shortage of competent staff, he added.
Nandu also suggested that Penampang district council staff employed through recommendations or interference by the previous Barisan Nasional ministers be transferred to other Sabah districts.
“It may be a good idea if they are transferred to other districts and their places filled by genuine Penampang folks through the normal process of interviews.”
He also called for an end to wastages and cronyism in the council and hoped the incoming district officer and councillors will give high priority to these issues.
“We have heard so many complaints by Penampang folks in the past regarding the wastage of funds through many unnecessary projects, such as the infamous little gongs on top of streetlight poles that can be seen all over Donggongon town,” he said.