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USM PENANG, 10 May 2022 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) will always prioritise the well-being of its community members, including its staff, as it implements its predetermined strategic plan. 

USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato' Dr. Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan emphasised that at a face-to-face gathering with close to 5,000 staff from the implementing group and joined by others online here recently. 

"I was truly affected by the outcome of the recent study, on the preparedness of the staff in facing retirement, which showed that many are not well-prepared, while some are deep in debt. 

"Many are not aware and not taking the necessary measures on the continued livelihood of their families after facing retirement," he said. 

He stressed that, the university is taking the necessary steps to assist the staff, especially those in the supporting group, and to even include their children. 

"They will be required to attend certain courses, which involves the Credit Counselling and Management Agency (AKPK) to guide the staff in managing their personal finances," said Faisal Rafiq. 

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USM has prepared various easy financing schemes and welfare funds at higher values to assist the staff and their families. 

"We have also readied assistance for any staff having children with disabilities, for those who need to advance in their education and to develop other talents via the sports academy, and to fully utilise the facilities available on campus," added the Vice-Chancellor. 

He explained further, the university at the same time is looking into means to provide transportation services for those who are staying around Seberang Jaya, while taking steps for adjustments for staff to work from home, in order to accommodate more for the staff. 

This would allow them, especially the working mothers, to allocate more time to manage their families. 

The university is simultaneously planning to build living quarters for the staff at the University Recreation Park (TRU) area that will allow the staff the opportunity to set aside savings in the long run to buy their own homes. 

"Therefore, I am also urging the staff, especially those in the supporting group, to uphold the obligation and the responsibility together in looking at the asset management duties of the university, and to ensure more accountability in order to avoid any action on misconduct being taken by the authorities," stressed the Vice-Chancellor. 

Proper management of the university assets is of crucial importance, to allow the university to continue providing essential facilities to conduct its roles effectively, especially those utilising the laboratories. 

Also present at the gathering was the President, USM Staff Union (KKA), Ahmad Rizwan Zulkharnain and members of the University Management Committee (JKPU). 

In answering a question Ahmad Rizwan said, the union has received full support from the University in ensuring the well-being of the staff. 

"We are thankful to the Vice-Chancellor and the University Management with the continued discussions and support regarding the activities and efforts that we have initiated all the while," said Ahmad Rizwan. 

Translation: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin/BM Text: Mohamad Abdullah

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