Bonus backlash: Struggling Pos Malaysia promises ‘better rewards’ when COVID-19 situation improves

Pos Malaysia allegedly would not be giving out bonuses to their essential staff this year. Photo: Facebook/ Masakan Utara Barat & Twitter / @anthraxxx
Pos Malaysia allegedly would not be giving out bonuses to their essential staff this year. Photo: Facebook/ Masakan Utara Barat & Twitter / @anthraxxx

Malaysia’s national postal service today responded to online accusations that it was not handing out bonuses to overworked employees, saying that the business has been affected by COVID-19 and it was trying its best to avoid job and pay cuts. 

Pos Malaysia’s response came days after a photo of a postman traveling with a mountain of letters and parcels on his motorbike circulated online. The unnamed man allegedly claimed to receive a call from his employer saying that he would not receive his annual bonus worth RM1,000 (about US$230) this year.  A rider’s base salary is just a little more than RM1,000 a month. 

“While there is an increase in parcel volume, Pos Malaysia’s other businesses, namely mail, international parcels, Pos Aviation and Pos Logistics have been affected. Despite this, the company continues to protect the livelihood of over 15,000 frontliners and operational support employees and ensure that their needs are prioritised,” the company wrote in a press statement. 

“Pos Malaysia ensures that these employees’ welfare is protected without resorting to salary reductions, job cuts or other drastic measures, as compared to other severely impacted sectors in the country.It was an uphill task, but we continue to stand united with our Pos Champions,” it added. 

It also promised to “ensure better rewards” for its employees once the “situation has improved.”

The postman’s photo had been circulating since Saturday when Facebook user “Masakan Utara Barat” posted about him appearing heartbroken while sitting in the rain outside her doorstep after giving her parcels. When asked whether he was okay, the man revealed that he had received a call from his employer saying that it would not be awarding bonuses this year.

Pos Malaysia receives 600,000 deliveries a day. Photo: Twitter / @anthraxxxx
Pos Malaysia receives 600,000 deliveries a day. Photo: Twitter / @anthraxxxx

The viral Facebook post received a whopping 67,000 reactions, 28,000 shares, and 20,000 comments, with many seeking clarification on why Pos Malaysia would withhold bonuses from their employees, especially when business appeared to be going so well. Pos Malaysia said on April 29 that the courier company receives 600,000 parcels a day for deliveries. 

An online petition calling for bonuses to be paid, titled “Pos Malaysia must give bonus or duit raya to our mailmen,” was created on Sunday by a person named Noni Mohd Nor. It has since obtained more than 17,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning. 

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