Sun, 26 Mar 2000

Rector joins rally

YOGYAKARTA (JP): Gadjah Mada University rector Prof. Ichlasul Amal joined university officials and staff members in a protest here on Saturday against the government's plan to increase the structural allowance of civil servants by more than 1,000 percent.

More than 1,500 university officials, including lecturers and administrative staffers, gathered on the campus in front of the Central Building. They shouted and waved posters, some of which read, "Delay the Structural Allowance" and "Reform is aimed at giving a prosperous life to people, not officials."

The protest was organized by the Front for Justice and Peace. All campus activities came to a stop during the action.

In a speech to the protesters, Amal said the government should restructure the inefficient bureaucracy before increasing the allowances of government officials.

"Increasing salaries is very much correlated to productivity and efficiency. With the current structure of the bureaucracy, increasing the structural allowance will only waste money," he said.

The head of the university's administrative office, Sutriman, said that under the government plan he would receive a monthly allowance of Rp 5 million. He regretted the policy, saying the money could be used to improve national education.

Amal said the rectors of state universities were not included in the government's plan.

"Rectors, their deputies and deans will not receive the allowance," Amal said. (44)