(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): Yesterday, Education Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that Universiti Malaya staff would not enjoy a salary hike when it is corporatised on January 1, as the Cabinet had decided to defer the implementation of the new remuneration scheme.
Instead, they will continue to receive the same salary package under the existing remuneration system.
Najib said the Cabinet decision was in line with the Government’s measures to overcome the country’s economic problem and devaluation of the ringgit and the government would only consider the scheme once the economy had stabilised and regained its strength.
He said it would not be fair if the staff of Universiti Malaya are given a salary hike of 17.5 per cent which would involve an additional allocation of RM41.2 million for next year alone whereas the annual increment for government officers under the A and B groups are frozen.
It is not right or fair to equate the annual increment of A and B category government officers with the revision of salary for University of Malaya staff on corporatisation, especially as the objective of corporatisation is to ensure that University of Malaya attain academic excellence in line with the national objective for Malaysia to become an international centre of educational excellence.
Is the deferment in the salary revision of University of Malaya despite the ongoing changes in the administration and governance of UM as proposed by the corporatisation plan also a deferment of the national plan to make Malaysia an international centre of educational excellence?
University Malaya staff salary revision on corporatisation on Jan. 1 should not be deferred but credited to be paid after the national economic revival and it is the increment from this revised scheme which should be frozen in keeping with the freeze on the increment of group A and B government officials. The payment of the salary revision after the economic revival, whether it takes two or three years, could be paid back in instalments after the economic turnaround of the country.