KUCHING: Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin has assured that no Public Works Department (PWD) engineer will retire as a J41 (grade scale) officer.
He said this was in line with the restructuring exercise currently implemented by PWD following its endorsement by the State Cabinet.
Under the exercise, the department targets to have more than 50 per cent of its engineers to be at least J48 (senior grade) holders and above.
“On January 2010, right after I took over the ministry, PWD organised a senior officers’ conference. What transpired in the conference was that we hoped that in the future no engineers who joined PWD at the grade scale of J41 would retire while still a J41.
“Currently, most PWD engineers are J41 and make up more than 50 per cent. The new phase of the department’s restructuring exercise would target to have more than 50 per cent of engineers in the J52, J54 and J48 senior grade scales,” Manyin, who is also Tebedu assemblyman, told a press conference here yesterday.
He was met after the launching ceremony of ‘ISO17025: International Laboratory Management System Implementation’ at PWD’s Central Materials Laboratory (CML) at Jalan Tabuan.
Manyin added that under the restructuring, which is to be fully completed sometime next year, there would be 143 JBC (Jawatan Berasaskan Caruman / Contribution-based Position) posts, which meant that the affected employees would not be pensionable.
He also said PWD would have two more VU7 officers (deputy director), adding to the present two VU7 and one VU6 (director) posts.
Manyin explained that fresh engineers would usually join PWD at grade J41, and only after a few years of experience would they be upgraded to J44, J48 and so on.
“The new J41 would come in under JBC but we would help push their cases with the JPA (Civil Service Department) to ensure that they would become pensionable. All this restructuring phase will give PWD engineers motivation to work and produce quality.”
In addition to that, he highlighted that PWD would set up three regional offices in Kuching, Sibu and Miri who would report directly to the director and deputy directors to specifically look into development matters.
He also said the role and responsibilities of divisional engineers would be more on maintenance and that regional office engineers would be J54 grade holders.
“My ministry will work together with PWD as a team to tackle the challenges ahead. The new challenges are different from the old days when there were less projects to manage when compared to now.
“With the new and bigger challenges, the restructuring programme is very much needed as it helps us find new ways of tackling things which we believe could be done by PWD.”
Also present at the press conference were Assistant Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman, Assistant Communication Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin and state PWD director Zuraimi Sabki.