Call to hike bonus of civil servants

National 1 minute, 39 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A BRUNEI-MUARA District representative of the State Legislative Council yesterday called for an increase in civil servant bonuses, citing rise in prices of consumer goods in the sultanate.

"(A bonus rise) will help citizens and residents serving in the government in light of the current situation, where the prices of consumer goods have increased," said Hj Bakar Mansor, the Council's Brunei-Muara District representative.

The most recent bonus received by civil servants was last year, when His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam celebrated his 61st birthday.

Addressing his proposal to the Council, Hj Bakar suggested the annual bonuses be increased according to the respective civil servants' salary scales.

"For example, the bonus of division four and five employees be increased to three-month's wages. And division three employees bonuses be increased to two-and-a-half month's salary; and division two to one-and-a-half month's wages," he said.

Responding to the proposal, the Minister of Finance II, Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Ibrahim, said the matter needs to be looked into "more deeply".

"Currently there are a lot of complaints from the private sector — that working in the public sector has more appeal. This is why the private sector is facing difficulties in hiring committed workers," he said.

"If the government does decide to increase the civil servants' bonus, without a doubt, the gap between the salaries of civil servants and those in the private sector will widen. This might prove to be a disincentive for workers join the private sector."

After Brunei Shell Petroleum, the civil service is the largest employer in the sultanate, employing more than 18 per cent of the total population. Employees within the civil service are categorised into five divisions — Directors and managerial staff (first division); executives and entry-level graduates (second division); supervisory and skilled technical staff (third division); and support staff (fourth and fifth division).

The Brunei Times