Saturday, June 14, 2008


State Govt mulls twice a month pay

CM says no problem if civil servants want it; Cabinet will discuss matter

Payment of monthly salaries to civil servants in two installments will be among the issues to be discussed in the State Cabinet Meeting next week. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the State Government will only make its decision after the meeting on whether to emulate the Federal Government’s move in paying salaries to its employees fortnightly from August. He said State Secretary Datuk Sukarti Wakiman has been tasked to get feedbacks from various quarters on the matter before the State Government makes its decision. “We must first get the views of the State Secretary and State Government employee before deciding on the matter. If they accept, the Cabinet will have no problem implementing it,” he told the media after opening Bank Islam’s new Kota Kinabalu branch here. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahdullah Ahmad Badawi had on Wednesday announced that Government employees would be paid their salaries in two installment a month from August to help ease the impact of the recent sharp fuel prices hike. Petrol and diesel prices went up by 40 per cent on June 5. Earlier, in his speech, Musa said the Islamic banking and financial system had become a preference for Muslims and also non-Muslims, adding that the opening of the Bank Islam branch here reflected its commitment to improve its image and identity in terms of its delivery and services to customers. “The potential for the Islamic banking system to develop in Sabah is bright,” he said, adding that he is confident Bank Islam will benefit from the implementation of Sabah Development Corridor in view of the interest shown by foreign investors in the country’s Islamic banking system. Meanwhile, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd plans to open 25 new branches in the next three years. Its Managing Director Datuk Zukri Samat yesterday disclosed that the move is in line with Bank Islam’s aim to develop an Islamic financial system to operate together with the conventional system in the country. The bank, set up 25 years ago, currently has 90 branches nationwide with over 2,900 employees. Zukri said Bank Islam is making efforts t upgrade its branch network in line with it re-branding process which started last August, which among others include improving the quality of services and also ensuring convenience for customers where they are carrying out banking transactions. He said the bank is also looking at ways to lighten the financial burden of customer following the recent fuel prices increase. “We are taking proactive steps and among our innovative offerings is providing payment holiday for the housing bar package,” he said. Through the scheme, customers have the choice of not making repayments for two months each year. Bank Islam is currently offering more than 50 products and services based on the Syariah principles, and the products an intended to cover all the needs of customers including individuals, corporate and organisations.