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The Government should review the number of holidays for 1.2 million civil servants

Media Statement
by Dr Tan Seng Giaw


(Kuala Lumpur, Sunday) : I propose that the Government review the number of holidays for 1.2 million civil servants. Then, it should fix the number of holidays that will enable government employees to compete with the world, consistent with clean and effective administration.

I have always paid attention to holidays for civil servants. I reiterate that they must be clean and effective.

The usual impression about civil servants is that they take too many holidays. They can have 97 weekly holidays, 14 public holidays and 15 annual holidays, totalling 126 days a year. The Government should let us know how many of these holidays are special rights or privileges?

According to media report, Associate Professor Abdul Rahim, Universiti Utara Malaysia, UUM, reveals that in 2006 Singapore with 11 public holidays a year has per capita income of US$28,000 compared with RM5,000 for Malaysia with 14 public holidays. Is this a fair comparison?

Other countries in the world have the number of public holidays, varying from 7 to 22 days: Vietnam 7, United Kingdom 9, U.S.A. 10, Japan 19 and Taiwan 22.

The Secretary-General of Cuepacs Ahmad Shah says that civil servants enjoy too many holidays; these are not their special rights.

The Government must review comprehensively the number of holidays for civil servants from various angles, such as per capita incomes, efficiency and competitiveness. Then, the Government should determine the number of holidays that is compatible with the modern world.

A person needs rest and holidays. However, we would like to know the working capacity of ordinary Malaysians and the number of holidays that fits into the requirement today. We shall raise this topic of the number of holidays for civil servants, efficiency and competitiveness in Parliament.


*Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP Deputy National Chairman and MP for Kepong

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