The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has confirmed that the Public Service New Remuneration Scheme (SBPA) is now cancelled.

In a live telecast over the nation, the PM announced that the government has instead opted to improve the existing Sistem Saraan Malaysia (SSM).

Unofficial sources say that the new SSM will feature an increase of up to 13% in pay for civil servants in the grade of 1-54, with the gap between the highest paid officer in the civil service, and the lowest not as wide as proposed under SBPA.

Also said to be in the new SSM scheme is an improved payment of Cost Of Living Allowances (COLA).  Rumour has it that it will be increased by about RM50 for areas graded as B and C.

The news is somewhat a shocker considering that there was much said that the reviewed version of SBPA will bring in much joy for the civil servants in Malaysia.

However, Najib today announced that it was cancelled for good, rattling hope of better pay and allowances which seemed possible after the government agreed to review the scheme.

Our comment: Apple didn’t launch the new iPad 3, but instead launched the ‘New iPad’.  PM also didn’t launch the new SBPA, but instead launched the ‘new SSM’.  Co-incidence?