PM will seek cabinet approval for MPs pension issue

REMBAU: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will bring the issue of contract hiring and withdrawal of the pension scheme for civil servants to the cabinet for debate.

He said if it receives cabinet approval, it will then be brought to the Dewan Rakyat for debate.

He said at the moment, the issue regarding pension for civil servants has yet to be finalised. He said it also needs to be explained fully to new hires so that they understand that they won't be losing out if it is implemented.

"If you were to ask me, I could easily delay the issue so that it becomes another prime minister's burden. But there will come a point when we will not be able to pay, so as such we have to look at the facts and arguments.

"The issue of civil servants' pensions has been around for a long time, even when I was the finance minister in the 1990s. There were suggestions even back then to withdraw the pension scheme.

"I think it is logical for us to study in total withdrawing pensions for civil servants as well as for politicians. However, this will depend on the decision in Parliament.

"If the cabinet agrees, I will present it (in the Dewan Rakyat). If any members of parliament want to reject it, they are free to do so.

"Regardless, I have to table it on moral grounds," he said.

Anwar was speaking while officiating the Program Penggerak MADANI Negri Sembilan at Kem Wawasan Negara Ulu Sepri, here this evening.

Also present were Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun; state secretary Datuk Mohd Zafir Ibrahim and state executive councillors.

Anwar said the government is prepared to seek the views of members of parliament first.

He said there may be requests by the MPs to create special allowances

"I will listen. For now, it has yet to be tabled to the MPs except just preliminary discussions. It's hard for me to state with certainty if exemptions will be made for politicians.

"If they want special allowances or others like the civil servants, we can discuss it. However, in the interest of consistency when introducing any policy, it has to be done together," he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi recently announced a withdrawal of the pension scheme for new hires in the civil service. Under this method, new hires will instead contribute to retirement schemes like the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organisation (Socso).

Cuepacs, in response, had called on the government to instead review the pension for elected representatives, claiming that they receive the lion's share of pensions despite some having only served for a single term in office.

Anwar later clarified that the review on pension schemes would also apply to politicians.

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