Minister backs MTUC’s call for six-hour work day for civil servants

Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim was quoted as saying that shorter working hours may not necessarily affect productivity as government workers could still continue to work from home. —Picture by Choo Choy May
Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim was quoted as saying that shorter working hours may not necessarily affect productivity as government workers could still continue to work from home. —Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — A federal minister has supported the proposal for government employees to work just six hours daily, saying this would benefit their families.

According to Utusan Malaysia, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim approved of the idea initially proposed by the Malayan Trade Unions Congress (MTUC).

“However, my ministry cannot be alone in trying to realise the suggestion because only with the support on many can we deem it to have popular support and we are willing to co-operate,” she told reporters after attending a programme in Malacca yesterday.

Rohani was further quoted as saying that shorter working hours may not necessarily affect productivity as government workers could still continue to work from home.

“What is most important is that the job is done while the quality of work is not compromised. One example are translators. The don’t really have to be in office to do their job,” she said.

MTUC secretary-general N. Gopal Kisham recently asked the government to consider reducing the current eight working hours to just six for its workers.

Chief Secretary Tan Sri Ali Hamsa in response said the government was willing to consider the proposal, Utusan reported.

Rohani noted her ministry has already implemented a flexible working hour system for married civil servants with children two years ago.

Malaysia has over 1.6 million workers in the civil service, among the largest in the region. Their wages are the single biggest expenditure item on the federal budget.

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