Sunday, April 07, 2024

NUBE takes 3 unions to task for siding with HR Minister on duit raya for bank employees

Updated: In NUBE on a warpath against HR Minister Steven Sim, writer/seeker/teacher TheRealNehruism highlighted the National Union of Banking Employees’ displeasure with the Minister for stepping in to resolve its dispute with the banks over Hari Raya bonus payment. The article has garnered over 7k views and heated comments, not all of them supportive of Mr J. Solomon, the union chief:

“So NUBE will ask for one month’s bonus for every festive season? Bonus not specified is discretionary, subject to work performance!”

“(Solomon is) another useless idiot using NUBE, asking for bonus”.

Bru’s original posting

KL, 7 April: Four months into the job, Human Resources Minister Steven Sim has already incurred the wrath of NUBE. The trade union is upset with Sim for going behind its back. NUBE was demanding a month’s salary in duit raya for its 20,000 members who work in the banks until the minister came into the picture and “negotiated” with the banks. The minister’s intervention has resulted in the employees getting shortchanged, with some getting only half what they are entitled to under the agreement the union signed with the banks last year. But while NUBE is mad, several trade union leaders have lauded Sim as a hero!

I got in touch with Mr J. Solomon, the NUBE sec-gen, as soon as I’d received a Letter to the Editor wtih the rather dramatic title Does Steven Sim know what he is or what he is doing?

I asked Solomon:

1. Will NUBE be seeking a meeting with the Minister over this matter? 

2. A Sarawak union, Shafie Mammal and MTUC have commended the Minister for helping secure the Hari Raya angpow for the bank employees. Why did they take a different position to that of NUBE’s?

3. What’s your next course of action? 

Here’s the NUBE chief’s response to me:

Dear Bro, thank you for reaching out. 

We have written to (the Minister) directly, his Deputy, KSU, DGIR and also spoke to his IR Officers. 
We only called for the press conference after making all the efforts.  

In relation to Sarawak (union); Andrew has always been acting contrary to NUBE. In fact, NUBE’s negotiation on the FA was extended to Sarawak, so for him to laud the Minister is understandable. 

Shafie Mammal, I spoke to him personally but he claims he is not aware of our fight, which I find it hard to digest. 

As for MTUC, they have sold their soul long ago; and Effendy has no locus standi as the High Court has declared him and his team as invalid office bearers for he conducted the elections contrary to the Constitution.  They applied for a Stay Order but the Stay Order granted is only for administrative matters until the case is heard and decided upon. They cannot make any statement on behalf of affiliates or workers. 

MTUC, UNI and Sarawak never spoke to us or even approached us to understand what our fight is all about. 
It appears that someone coordinated with them to make the statements on the day our Press Conference Invite was sent out.  

Therefore, I believe you can see where this is all coming from. 

Thank you. 

The LETTER TO EDITOR tbat Solomon sent to the media:

6 Apr 2024

Does Steven Sim know who he is or what he is doing?

I am very intrigued by HR Minister Steven Sim's response to a recent press statement by NUBE in an FMT article titled “Banks” festival aid doesn’t extend beyond 2023, says HR ministry”.

In the ongoing dispute about Festival Aid that NUBE is having with the management of the banks, we have accused Steven in a press conference we held on April 5, of going behind NUBE’s back to betray and deprive the banking workers by striking an inferior and regressive deal with the management of the banks without NUBE’s consent, and to this, Steven basically said yes, that is exactly what he did.

To put it mildly, I find his response to be mind boggling.

In the FMT article, it is written that “the ministry said that after its minister, Steven Sim, offered to help untangle the situation and gave his views, the banks have agreed to give their workers half a month’s salary in festival aid.”

The above admission is basically Steven admitting that everything that NUBE is accusing him of doing is 100 percent true. The crux of our problem with Steven is that in our dispute with management of the banks, he only spoke to the management of the banks but not us, before agreeing to everything that the management of the banks said about the dispute, without even listening to our side of the story, and proceeded to authorise a deal that short changed the banking workers and is favourable to the management of the banks, as per the wishes of the management.

To hear Steven just admit that he did everything we accused him of doing is dumbfounding. It is like hearing a wrongdoer, in a matter-of-fact fashion, admit that they have wronged you, before making it sound like they have no idea why you are making a big fuss about them wronging you. How do you deal with such a person?

When I study further the responses that the HR Ministry gave FMT, I feel that Steven Sim might be accidentally betraying and shortchanging the workers, because he is just confused about who he is.

Observe the other statement that the HR Ministry has given FMT below.

“The National Union of Bank Employees’ (NUBE) demand that banks provide their workers a month’s salary in festival aid is only based on a memorandum of agreement (MoA) signed last year."

"The ministry said while the 2023 MoA stipulates that banks need to pay their workers a month’s salary in festival aid for that year, the Malaysian Commercial Banks Association (MCBA) had refused to accede to NUBE’s demand as the MoA does not promise any aid for 2024."

"(According to the MoA) payments of festival aid for the following years (after 2023) will be reviewed,”

I am familiar with all the arguments that the HR Ministry is stating here, but what boggles my mind is why is it the HR Ministry that is stating these arguments.

These are the arguments of the bank managements and their representatives. I can understand it, even if I don’t agree with it as it is normal for banks to renegade on agreements. This is precisely the reason NUBE is having a trade dispute with the banks and MCBA, in the first place, because NUBE has counter arguments to the bank’s position.

What I cannot even begin to fathom is why the HR Ministry is taking the same argument as the management of the banks, without listening to NUBE's side of the argument?

Is the HR Ministry and HR Minister a part of the government that is elected by the people or is it a part of the top management of the banks?

NUBE's problem with Steven is that although he is supposed to be the HR Minister, he is acting exactly like a CEO of the banks that we are having a dispute with.

It is because he is acting like the CEO of a bank despite being a Minister in the government that we accused him of being in cahoots with the banks in the first place.

But now when I hear Steven’s responses in FMT, although I still feel that Steven did betray and short-change the workers in collusion with the bank’s management, I also feel that perhaps he might have done it inadvertently.

 He might not be malicious. He might just be “unwell”. He is confused. He doesn’t know who is or what he is doing.

He might believe that he is a part of the solution when he is a part of the problem. He is likely betraying and short-changing the workers, while believing that he is helping the workers.

He needs to take a rest.

NUBE stands for the workers, and we are committed to fighting for the rights and welfare of our members.Wewillnotrestuntiljusticeisserved. Together,wewillovercome.

, visit the campaign website at

Friday, April 05, 2024

From America with love, Nazri tells Hamzah to stop going after his own MPs for exercising their freedom of expression

The six “rogue” Bersatu MPs

KL, 5 April: Malaysia’s envoy to the US Nazri Aziz is living proof that a posh posting overseas needn’t necessarily be a “cold storage” aimed at silencing a good politician. In fact, I believe the man Umno calls “Chief” will speak his mind on critical domestic political issues even if they send him to Uranus as our ambassador. 


Six Bersatu MPs who declared support for PM Anwar don’t have to vacate their seats, says Nazri Aziz

Astro Awani reports: Nazri, who is Padang Rengas Umno chief, said the six Bersatu MPs do not have to vacate their seats as they did not violate the Anti-Party Hopping law.  

The main purpose of implementing the Anti-Party Hopping Act was to prevent attempts to topple the government such as the “Sheraton Move” back in 2020.

“I was one of the committee members of the Anti-Party Hopping Act in Parliament at that time.

“What the six MPs did does not bring down the government, but strengthened it and they never declared to leave the party.

A trained lawyer, Nazri was our Law Minister for a while so his views on the matter aren’t mere rhetorics. But Hamzah Zainuddin, the Opposition Leader from Bersatu party who said he would get the six “rogue” Bersatu MPs by amending the party’s constitution (which was approved by the ROS last Tuesday), may end up eating humble pie.

From the same news article:

Nazri also stressed that the Anti-Party Hopping Act was implemented to prevent MPs from gaining profit from the seats they won.

He explained that MPs could have traded their parliamentary seats for personal gain if it wasn’t for the Act.

“With this Act in place, no MPs can any longer gain profit by demanding a certain amount in return for their support. Therefore, this Act has prevented MPs from profiting from the seats they won,” he was quoted as saying.

Nazri, who is also the Malaysian Ambassador to the United States, said that the issue of declaring support for Anwar is part of freedom of expression and is a fundamental right of Parliament guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.

“They are free to support or vote for any Bill presented by the government and Bersatu can’t stop them through their recent party constitution amendment” 

Nazri also said the Anti-Party Hopping law also enacted to save government expenses as there is no need to hold by-elections as some parties tends to intentionally vacate their seats.

“It is very irresponsible if Bersatu wants six by-elections to be held simply because of revenge and anger towards the six MPs. 

“They made a decision to support their prime minister for the sake of their voters without leaving the party, so why is Bersatu so angry?”


Hamzah, who resigned from UMNO after the party’s fall in the 2018 general election to join Mahathir Mohamad-Muhyiddin Yassin’s Bersatu, told his six MPs on Tuesday (after the ROS had approved the party’s Constitution amendments, that they would lose their seats. 

Excerpts from the FMT’s Safe? Waif for our surprise:

One of the six Bersatu MPs, Suhaili Abdul Rahman, yesterday said he would not have to vacate his seat as the amended constitution only took effect on April 1.

He pointed out that he and the five other Bersatu MPs had declared their support for Anwar between last October and January

However, Hamzah told Suhaili it was not up to Suhaili to determine if he and the other five MPs would have to relinquish their positions.

“Suhaili may claim they are safe, but it’s not up to him to decide,” Hamzah said.

While Hamzah did not reveal what steps Bersatu would be taking against the six MPs, he stressed that they would be in accordance with the law.

“I won’t show them my cards,” he said.

The six Bersatu MPs are Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang), Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan), Mohd Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang) and Tanjong Karang MP Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi.

They had expressed support for Anwar to ensure that their constituencies receive the promised federal funds for infrastructure and development.