KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 26 ― A group representing civil servants has voiced their disagreement with the government's upcoming health policies that would take their physical conditions as a benchmark for key performance indicators and opportunities to be promoted.
The Congress of the Union of Employees in the Public and Civil Service (Cuepacs) president Datuk Azih Muda argued the Health Ministry should not interfere with promotion and performance evaluation, as they are internal processes.
“The Health Ministry shouldn't be interfering with internal processes. Any performance evaluation or factors determining promotions should not be based on someone's health. We don't know when we are going to fall ill, it's unpredictable,” Azih told Malay Mail.
Instead, Azih criticised the Health Ministry itself, claiming that many of the civil servants within the ministry are not in their peak of their health either.
He had also questioned the efficacy of the Health Ministry's current policies, highlighting that many of his colleagues in the service are suffering from high level of stress and hypertension.
Yesterday it was reported that a special cabinet committee had discussed 13 new health policies to battle the rising trend of non-communicable diseases (NCD) among Malaysians.
One of the key policies to be introduced over the next two years will impact civil servants as it calls for the level of NCD risks to be taken into account during the hiring process, performance evaluations and even opportunities for promotion.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said he and his ministry will be spearheading the campaign to promote healthier living.
Azih was surprised when told by Malay Mail of the policies set to be implemented in 2018 and 2019, claiming the government had not consulted them.
“We were not called for any discussions. When it comes to things like this, they should have also called us in to get our point of view, especially when the policy affects many of us.
“Maybe we can have some suggestions they could use before making any announcements,” he said.
Despite that, Azih said he was not totally against the idea, but in fact lauds and supports the spirit behind the idea to create a healthier civil service.
“We have proposed to the government to give civil servants two hours a week [taken from their wokring hours] to exercise. The government should also organise monthly get togethers where we can all do physical work outs. Being healthy is a shared responsibility,” said Azih.
The most recent National Health and Morbidity Survey result in 2015 revealed that 40.3 per cent of government and semi-government employees suffer from obesity.