So a few days ago, after a rather tense meeting discussing the political scenario in Malaysia, a friend brought to my attention a new iPhone/iPad/iPod application, called ‘Aku Jimat‘. Succinctly, it’s a game where you collect falling coins and dodge bombs that, instead of killing you, increases your age. So after you’ve collected enough dosh, you can proceed to the ‘Shopping’ section of the game where you can splurge on various luxuries like handbags, cars, and even a diamond ring (priced at $24 million, no less!). Ultimately, the game is – I guess – trying to inculcate the culture of saving up money to buy what you want early enough in life 😉
On another point, news that top civil servants would be getting huge pay hikes has been met with severe reproach by the rest of the 1.4 million civil servants. Of course, the new Skim Saraan Baru Perkhidmatan Awam (SBPA) has been under such intense fire as even the civil servants union CUEPACS had been shut out of the initial planning stages. Some of the concerns raised include:
- disproportionate increase in salaries (top-tier would receive some hundred-fold pay raises, while some of the lower-ranked staff get a paltry 3% hike)
- an ‘exit’ mechanism, where civil servants must get a performance review score of over 70% (later dropped to 60% after pressure from CUEPACS), which after 2 consecutive years of failure they would be asked to leave
- the subtle issue of a single-tier remuneration scheme and specialization + seniority in the medical sector
In any case, plans for the SBPA to come into effect have been put on hold – twice; once at the end of December, and once again on 12th January – as the resistance from within the civil service was so severe that the Najib administration cannot implement this system wholesale. Of course, if only the administration wasn’t so iron-fisted in its approach – forcing civil servants to sign the papers before they could fully comprehend the magnitude of changes, for example – perhaps this key vote bank for the BN would not have been so resistant to such changes.
Maybe those spearheading the SBPA consultation committee could take some lessons from ‘Aku Jimat’ – be careful in trying to get what you want… otherwise people will make fun of you 😉