Media statement by MP for Batu Kawan and International Secretary for DAP Women, Kasthuri Patto on 5 February 2021:
Minister for Women, Family and Community Development Rina Harun has not kept to her word and promise as Rehabilitation Organization or PDK supervisors and officers have yet to receive the promised increment to their wages begining January 2021 as stated by the Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul in his 2021 Budget Speech in the Dewan Rakyat last November.
In the Minister of Finance’s 2021 Budget speech in the Dewan Rakyat last November 6 2020, he mentioned under point #100
“Currently, the monthly payment rate received by supervisors and officers under the Community Rehabilitation Organization or PDK has not been reviewed since 2008. Therefore, reflecting the Government’s concern, for next year, the staff rate will be increased from 800 to 1,200 ringgit per month, while the rate of supervisors will be increased from 1,200 to 1,500 ringgit per month. This increase will benefit 3,500 PDK staff and supervisors nationwide, with an allocation of 100 million ringgit.”
After 12 years, this increase in staff rate is timely as well in light of the high cost of living particularly during this pandemic.
However, I had received information that the new revised increment will only take effect in April 2021. I proceeded to pressure the Minister for Women, Family and Community Development Rina Harun in the Dewan Rakyat on December 8 2020 when she was answering our questions at the Committee Stage of the Budget debate.
At first, she even casted doubts on this information that I had put forward for clarification and confirmation which is equivalent to doubting what her own supervisors and officers within PDK are saying – that they will only be paid with the new rates in April 2021.
I continued to argue for her to assure the August House that the increase will take effect in January, the first month of 2021 and not be delayed to April. She attempted to beat around the bush and finally confirmed, yes, the increment will take place in January till year end, December.
However, further investigations by my officers in my service centre proved that the Minister has not kept to her word as the January salary slips still show the old rates of RM800.
With the executive bench consisting of Ministers and Deputy Ministers enjoying fat salaries, it is a downright crying shame that Rina Harun has not prioritised the wages of the officers and staff of PDK under the Welfare Department. An increment of RM400 and RM300 may not be significant to the Minister but for those struggling, this would definitely help a long way.
This gross negligence, ignorance and inconsideration on the part of the Minister Rina Harun is evidence that she is out of touch with the plight of the common man and woman on the street and is unfit to be a Minister. From the days of using Doraemon a Japanese comic to speak on shared responsibility, to advising wives to use make up to appease to the their husbands, to the suspension of Talian Kasih 15999, the arterial number for reporting domestic violence cases, child abuse, attempted suicides, inquiries on welfare aid and on COVID-19 related questions to the dubious and highly politicised ‘food baskets’ in the height of the MCO last year to the controversial recruitment of BERSATU Srikandi members as ‘handsomely paid volunteers’ under the Yayasan Kebajikan Negara which is an agency under her Ministry.
Rina Harun must fight for the PDK supervisors and officers to guarantee that the promise by the Finance Minister in her Perikatan Nasional Government backdates the difference of the increment and commencement of payment to all 3,500 PDK officers in the country with immediate effect.
If she cannot do this, to help PDK foot soldiers on the ground who are helping Malaysians in the community, especially the vulnerable groups, she should step down and allow someone with an exemplary calibre like Datuk Seri Wan Azizah to lead the ministry to its glory days when Pakatan Harapan was in power.
Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan
International Secretary for DAP Women