KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — The increase of RM50 in the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for the support group in the civil service can help ease the burden of low-income civil servants.
The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services Malaysia (Cuepacs) president, Datuk Azih Muda, said the rising cost of living was not only felt by the civil servants in urban areas but also in rural areas.
“Currently, the amount of COLA allowance is set at RM300, RM250, and RM150 depending on their locations.
“Although the provision of COLA allowance is not the same, the RM50 increase is standardised for all civil servants in urban and rural areas,” he said when contacted by Bernama here yesterday.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng when tabling Budget 2020 at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday announced that the COLA allowance will be increased by RM50 per month beginning 2020 for the support group, with an additional allocation of RM350 million annually.
Azih also welcomed the government’s initiative to introduce an Ex-Gratia Death Benefit of up to RM150,000 payable to the dependants of the deceased, and to bring forward the Annual Salary Movement for civil servants who have died in service before the Salary Movement Date.
“This is a new beginning that we look forward to. This is because it will help ease the burden of the dependants of civil servants who died while in service,” he said.
At the same time, Azih also welcomed the RM200 monthly special allowance which would benefit 14,400 members of the Fire and Rescue Department.
“Congratulations to all the firefighters. I hope this gives them joy for the sacrifices they make,” he said.
For Penang campus Teachers’ Training Institute (IPG) lecturer Ng Weng Tutt, 53, it would be better if all civil servants could enjoy the increase as the rising cost of living is being felt by the people from all walks of life.
“It is best if all civil servants could enjoy the increase in COLA allowance and not just those in the support group because we know the rising cost of living is very much felt by everyone,” she said.
For Sarina Aziz, 33, said the announcement of the COLA allowance increase was indeed a blessing.
“With this increase, it can lighten the burden for workers like me, an N19 grade employee with three young children,” she said.
Describing it as good news, Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) broadcast journalist Hanna Adlint Nasatiun Ahmad, 35, said it also showed the government’s appreciation of civil servants who contributed and served the people and the country.
Sharing her sentiment is Risman Mohd Isa, 41, a general assistant in the Communication and Multimedia Ministry, who said the increase in the COLA allowance could help ease some of his financial burdens.
“I work in Putrajaya and have a family in Pahang. The increase in COLA allowance is good news, given the current economic uncertainty,” said the father of two children, aged five and 10. — Bernama