KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — On the heels of the heartrending viral story of a mailman working for Pos Malaysia who revealed that he and his colleagues may not be getting their annual bonus this year, the country’s oldest and largest postal services company has stated that it will not resort to “salary reductions, job cuts or other drastic measures” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While many severely impacted sectors in the country have resorted to salary reductions, job cuts or other drastic measures, Pos Malaysia continues to strive hard in ensuring that these employees’ futures are protected,” Pos Malaysia said in a statement on Tuesday (19 May).
The company added that while there has been an increase in parcel volume during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, its other businesses — mail, international parcels, Pos Aviation and Pos Logistics — have been affected by the outbreak and the restrictions that ensued.
“Despite this, Pos Malaysia continues to protect the livelihood of over 15,000 frontliners and operational support employees and ensure that their needs are prioritised,” it said.
The company, however, in its statement did not confirm or deny the viral claim on not giving its workers their annual bonus this year.
Pos Malaysia’s response was made not long after Twitter user Aisyah Humairah, in a string of tweets on her account @aisyah9009 last Sunday, said that it began when the postman who delivered letters and some parcels she ordered online received a call afterwards.
“After the call ended, he sat down in his wet clothes looking pensive … It was raining heavily, and I saw him looking sad.
“I felt shy to ask him [about it] at first as I thought he had just gone through a break-up or something, so I asked my younger sibling to ask him why he looked sad.
“At first, he said it was nothing, but after two or three times [of being asked the same question], he finally said that his friend had called him to tell him that they will not be getting any bonuses this year,” she wrote.
“He said that something like this has never happened before. He received RM1000 last year, but this year he will get none. He said the workload has increased but there is no bonus … He choked up while saying it and cried his manly tears. He was really hoping to get the bonus,” Ms Aisyah added.
A postman working for Pos Malaysia who did not want to be named, when asked about the matter, confirmed that he and his colleagues will not be getting their annual bonus this year.
He told TOC on Monday afternoon that the reason cited was the “business and system” being “down” even prior to the MCO and as early as the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia.
“When they told us about it, I can only redha (relent and leave it up to God),” he lamented.
Following Ms Aisyah’s account of the postman’s predicament, responses to her tweets, and other stories regarding postmen working under the Malaysian national courier, “Pos Malaysia” topped the list of trending keywords in Malaysia as of 6.30 am on Monday (18 May).
A petition urging Pos Malaysia to give their mailmen their yearly bonuses this year, which had earlier garnered 1,885 signatures out of its initial target of 2,500, has gained 29,761 signatures out of the new target of 35,000 as at 11:47pm on Tuesday night.
“Let’s support our other frontliners – the mailmen, abang pos and all the post workers behind the scenes and push Pos Malaysia to appreciate their hard work during this COVID-19 MCO by giving them some bonus or duit raya at least.
“They have been working very hard to try to deliver every piece of mail and package especially with the increase in online shopping during the MCO.
“They’re working beyond the required hours and it’s been doubly hard for them in the last three weeks especially due to the Ramadan month,” the petition’s statement read.