Raya aid will indirectly benefit private sector, Cuepacs tells MEF

Cuepacs president Adnan Mat says businesses in the private sector will benefit from civil servants spending the money from the government’s special Aidilfitri payments.

PETALING JAYA: A union representing some 1.6 million members of the civil service today urged the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) to consider the bigger picture following the latter’s criticism of the government’s decision to give special Aidilfitri payments to civil servants.

The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) said the aid would also indirectly help employers and the private sector, including small enterprises.

It said this was especially the case as nearly all businesses including factories and restaurants were given the green light to operate under the conditional movement control order (CMCO) announced on May 4.

Cuepacs president Adnan Mat said businesses in the private sector would benefit from civil servants spending the money.

“Employers and the MEF should realise this,” he added.

“It is unreasonable to cast negative aspersions on the government and civil servants,” he said in a statement.

Earlier today, MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan had slammed the government’s decision, saying private sector workers affected by the Covid-19 crisis deserved more help.

He said those in the private sector had suffered pay cuts and allowance reductions, or had been made to go on unpaid leave under the movement control order (MCO).

“Such special aid payment should not be made as government servants literally did not ‘suffer’ anything as their wages and allowances remained intact during MCO and the CMCO,” he said.

However, Adnan said the special aid had likely been set aside before the Covid-19 crisis as the government had made similar allocations in the past.

“So there is no issue regarding the government’s finances as it is part of the allocation set aside for civil servants every year.”

He added that the bonuses and incentives received by those in the private sector were far bigger than the Raya payments but never questioned by civil servants.

“They (civil servants) continue to work as normal. Back then, MEF never even proposed that civil servants be given bonuses similar to the private sector.”

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