On March 8, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that civil servants would receive salary increases of between 7% and 13% under an improved Malaysian Remuneration System (SSM).
This follows the scrapping of the controversial Public Service New Remuneration Scheme (SBPA), which had come under criticism from government employees.
Despatch rider Shahrul Musa, 28, will be buying a car. A Perodua Alza, to be precise.
“My current salary is RM870. With the increment, it'll touch RM1,000 so it'll be easier to afford the car now. My wife is also a civil servant, so she's getting an increment too.
“We have a three-year-old son, so we do need a family car,” he says.
Others, like English teacher Elaine Kwa, 32, plan to take a lighter approach with the salary hike.
“We won't be going into any big investments at the moment. For me, most of the extra money will be going into savings, but it also means I can splurge a little more on my child. Educational toys don't come cheap,” says the mother of a three-month-old baby girl.
She draws a current monthly salary of about RM2,600.
Kwa, who also enjoys eating out, says that with a higher salary, she would be able to treat herself to nicer meals more often.
“The 13% increment is definitely welcome. These days when most families need two income earners, a few hundred ringgit definitely helps to lessen the burden of household expenditure,” she quips.
Another teacher, E. Koshila, 27, plans to start taking yoga lessons with the extra cash.
“My salary is about RM1,900. With a bit more, I am thinking of improving my lifestyle. I plan to take up yoga classes, or join a gym,” she says.