KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 — The National Union of Bank Employees (Nube) said today five police reports were lodged on behalf of the union members across Peninsular Malaysia yesterday claiming an alleged abuse of power by Human Resources Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong.

The union claimed that the minister made an agreement with the Malayan Commercial Banks Association (MCBA) over a “Festival Aid” allowance that members of the union were entitled to under a memorandum of agreement (MoA) without consulting the union and excluding them from the discussion.

“Although the reconciliation was still ongoing, the minister without the knowledge and consent of Nube had interfered and worked with MCBA and got the banks to pay the clerical and special grade clerical members of Nube, only a half-month salary, contrary to the said MoA.

“Further, it is regretted that contrary to the said MoA, the Minister had agreed with MCBA that this payment shall be a one-off payment for all categories of Nube members,” the union said in a statement here.


It said the deal affected about 15,000 bank workers in the bottom and middle 40 per cent income brackets (B40 and M40).

The MoA, signed in April 2023, imposes banks to pay a month’s worth of salary as “Festival Aid” to the workers every year.

The union said the banks did not miss their payment for “Festival Aid” in 2023 but it was not given this year, which sparked an outcry and a prolonged dispute. Executives previously claimed the aid was meant to be one-off and not handed out annually.


Nube claimed workers and both parties were undergoing reconciliation until the minister interfered.

The union asserted that the human resources minister only discussed the dispute with MCBA and excluded the union from the discussion before making a decision.

“This abuse of power had caused about 15,000 bank workers in the B40 and M40 categories to suffer losses as this group had been deprived of their rights.

“We have been betrayed by the minister of human resources who is supposed to protect the interest of the workers,” the union said in their statement.

Nube was established in 1958 and currently has over 15,000 registered members throughout the country. It is legally the sole representative union of all clerical and non-clerical employees of banking and financial institutions throughout Peninsular Malaysia.

Earlier this month, Sim’s decision to discuss a one-off festivity bonus with employers in their absence is against an International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention.

The union said the meeting with the Malayan Commercial Banks’ Association was a “gross violation of ILO rules” because Sim can be seen as siding with employers while negotiations are ongoing.