June 17, 2005
KUALA LIPIS, June 16 (Bernama) -- The government will implement a five-day work week for civil servants beginning July 1, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Thursday.
The relevant circular will be issued soon by the Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Samsudin Osman, he added. - Bernama.

May 31, 2005

5-Day Week, Cost Of Living Allowance Reinstated

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 (Bernama) -- The government has agreed in principle to implement the five-day week for civil servants, and to reinstate the cost of living allowance for the public sector, the Prime Minister announced, Monday.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said details and date of implementation would be determined later.
"The matter will be further deliberated with the relevant ministries to ensure they are effectively implemented and meet the objectives.
"At the same time, the move should not affect public sector productivity and delivery system," he told a news conference after addressing a Labour Day 2005 gathering for the Public Sector, here Monday.
The allowance, known as Cola (cost of living allowance), was paid to civil servants in the 1970s.
Cuepacs President Nordin Abdul Hamid raised the proposals in his speech at Monday's event.
Speaking to reporters later in Penang after opening the State Entrepreneursí Expo, Abdullah said all public sector employees would be paid the Cola, and the quantum would depend on the location where they served.
Abdullah said the decision to reinstate the Cola was attributed to costly housing, especially in major towns, which had caused difficulties for civil servants.
"As such, the government is of the opinion that they should be given some allowance.
"But those working in remote areas do not need as much expenses as those in high cost areas," he said.
The prime minister said the allowance would benefit government servants who work in town areas, as it would offset the expenses which they incurred due to the high cost of living.
"Further details will be decided at a meeting to be convened, "he said.
On the five-day week, the prime minister said the implementation of the system has its attributes as it gives government and public sector employees more time with their family, like taking advantage of the local tourist attractions. Abdullah also assured that the system would not reduce the productivity of the public sector and the government's workforce given that their daily working hours would be increased.
In implementing the system, Abdullah said, the government could not afford to lose sight of departments providing counter services to the public such as those related to supervision and health.
"The system should not be the cause in productivity fall and affect the national economy as well as private sector needs.
"In the private sector, some companies adopt the five-day week system and some, six-day week.
"Therefore, we must do it right. We don't want to see many problems in terms of implementation," said the premier.

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