New JPA Requirement for Labourer Position Marginalises Many Applicants

KUALA LUMPUR, 4 Dec: The decision of the Public Service Department (JPA) to issue a circular which requires applicants to pass the Lower Secondary Assessment (PMR) as a condition of entry for public employees makes it difficult for many applicants.

The Member of Parliament for Bukit Mertajam, Steven Sim, said that although the JPA’s move is welcomed as a measure to upgrade the status of employees, however it is claimed to cause many problems.

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He said that many applicants in the category are those who were not able to receive a good education; however the position grade previously only required passing primary school.

“On 29 October, JPA issued a circular that sets for grade R1 civil servants, the lowest level in the service, to be standardised with Rescue and Special General Staff, and the three positions are categorised as grade H11 public servants.

“Now, the amount of labour force that graduated from primary school is still high, about 17 percent or 2.1 million people.

“Many applicants in this category will be marginalised because for the post, many of them are made up of people from the low-income group,” he said in a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.

Sim said that passing PMR is not required to perform duties for the position involved, even within the scope of the new grade.

He said that public servants who were given the circular include those doing physical work, cleaning, maintenance of small damages and hands-on work, especially outside the office.

“Clearly, all of these tasks do not require passing the PMR. Therefore, I urge the government to review the new policy and to abolish the PMR passing requirement for these posts.

“What the government should do is to provide training and skills opportunities as well as knowledge to entry-level employees such as H11 to enhance their ability for them to advance in their careers,” he said.

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