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01 September 2006

All Employees
Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd


Dear colleagues


  1. All employees would by now received a letter issued by Mr. Rahmat R. Hashim, Head of Human Resources of Standard Chartered Bank.
  1. The said letter sought to provide information and clarifications on the issues that are subject matters of a dispute with SBEU.  How reliable are these information?  We reprint the exact extracts of the said letter and append our response.  Please read carefully and make your own judgment.

 PARA 3 of the Banks’s letter

  1. A General clerical or an existing Special Grade can be appointed a STL. They must go through a comprehensive promotion exercise which involves, amongst others:

-          Meet minimum qualifications/experience & performance standards

-          interviews and test.

-          And, as admitted by the bank, a probation period BEFORE confirmed as STL

-          Candidates must display leadership skills- that is why most STL have to under go a 3 week training in leader ship and management skills

  1. Please note that the process is no different when an employee is considered by promotion to an officer
  1. The job duties of an STL include discretionary limits that are as high as $50,000 for cash and $200,000 for non-cash. These are higher than even Managers in some other banks.  They also have to manage a team of colleagues, queue management & daily planning of staff requirements.
  1. Therefore the issue is whether or not the bank can simply take away the job Functions of a STL and give him a lower grade job.
  1. A Bank CANNOT bank take away the job functions of an officer and stop paying him the salary and other benefits of being an officer except for disciplinary or non performance grounds How can they do so for STLs.
  1. So why was Yii Ching Ming and Lily Wong demoted?  Why are other STLs including Andrew Lo which is the General Secretary of SBEU, not demoted? Why does the bank favor other STLs over these two poor STL who has done nothing wrong? Did Yii & Lily committed any misconduct or failed to perform?
  1. The STLA was decided between the bank and the Union and is meant to be an extra payment for the increased value of the job which includes not only the discretionary limits but also for the necessary skills and experience that the CONFIRMED STL possessed.  That is why the STLA also attract Annual Bonus.  No other allowance paid by the bank attracts Bonus.  Even the Sarawak Allowance does not attract Bonus. Therefore to all intents and purposes it is a rate of pay- i.e. part and parcel of the salary of the STL.  The SLTA is even taken into account when calculating Sarawak Allowance.
  1. SBEU NEVER agreed to the banks contention that the bank can simply demoted STLs.  SBEU never agreed the STLA can be removed from a CONFIRMED STL.
  1. What SBEU agreed is that in cases where other employees (including existing special grade clerks who are NOT appointed STL)  were assigned STL duties and paid the allowance will ceased to receive the said STLA when they are no longer performing the STL duties. These include those who relief the STL, and those who were assigned to do the duties because there are no officer or STL available in the Branch for a particular period of time.
  2. This is what a letter from the Bank dated 20 Jan 2003 said

  3. In the case of both Yii & Lily- they were officially appointed STL from clerical, passed the probation and confirmed as STL and has been performing the job for almost 10 years before they were demoted.  They were not simply assigned the STL functions.
  4. We append the appointments letters of Lily Wong and how she was demoted?

    Appointment letter dated 30 May 1995 as STL- where does the original appoint state that she can be removed as a STL?


  1. The redesignation letter- “Thank you for pass service as a STL”- what does that mean? - She has been demoted and lost her RM250 including bonus on it.

  2. The Bank issued her another appointment on 26 August 2006 (11 years later) with New conditions (para 4) introduced. 

    The second appointment letter dated 26 August 2006 that show how the bank plays around with the terms and conditions of its employees – even in the midst of the dispute. A cloak and dagger operation.


  3. Can you appoint a staff to the same position twice- 11 years later- what a sick Joke!!!!

    PARA 6 of the Bank’s letter

  4. In January 2003, STLs in West Malaysia raised a similar dispute. On 19 Feb 2003 the Bank responded to these STLs there and maintained the view that the bank has a right to stop the STL allowance.
  5. In April 2003, we raised the issue involving Yii.  The bank vide letter 30 April 2003, and after having the opportunity of earlier addressing the issue with the STLs in West Malaysia came to the decision that the STLA for Yii shall be restored in full and arrears paid to him. This is the said letter.

  6. So it was not an oversight by the previous HR. The Bank made a conscious decisions after due consideration. The new HR now claim that the previous HR made a mistake. So what guarantee that a future HR will not later claim that the current HR also makes a mistake? This offends the very core of integrity that is of utmost importance in the Banking industry.
  7. To make matters worse, the Bank did not even informed SBEU on when it unilaterally withdrew the reinstated STLA of Yii. It also secretly continued to deny Lily her SLTA until she discovered it.
  8. The Bank even want to claim the moral high ground by saying that they did not ask Yii to return the STLA that the previous reinstated to him.

  9. So can you trust the bank anymore??

    PARA 7 & 8
    of the Bank’s letter

    This is blatant lie.

  10. At the very outset SBEU made it clear that to resolve the dispute the STL must be restored in full.  We EVEN are prepared to allow the STL to perform the new roles as decided by the bank, but the STLA must remain as a personal to holder basis as provided by under Article 36 of the CA.
  11. This is SBEU‘s letter dated 27 January 2005 ( 1 year and 7 month sago) to the bank:

  12. This position was reiterated to the Bank during the conciliation meeting held at the Industrial Relations Department and another meeting between SCBA/SBEU in the presence of other Banks HR Managers.  Our position was made clear to them
  13. To claim that only now that SBEU wants arrears is a blatant lie and an attempt to hoodwink SBEU members.

  14. Lying is a highest from of misconduct. And is unacceptable of any employee in the Bank. Can we trust the bank anymore?

  15. For the record, during one of the meetings the Bank also offered an exgratia of RM2000.00 to the employee to resolve the matter.  This is a cheap attempt to bribe members.  SBEU members’ rights can NEVER be bought!

    PARA 9 OF Bank’s letter

  16. Yes $20,000- that is the amount the Bank cheated the employees out off. And they made $700 million last year.
  17. SBEU never agreed – see para above.  SBEU has never and will never compromise the rights of SBEU members that are enshrined under the CA.  ( See point no  11) 

    5 Day week

    PARA 11 of Bank’s letter

  18. Yes SBEU urge Banks to introduced 5 days week- as long as 15 years ago.  We have no issue with 5 day week. The issue is that the SCB directed employees to work 5 ½ week for employees in Kuching- This is not gazetted and this is against the CA.
  19. In the spirit of good will SBEU is prepared to allow banks that need to open certain branches on the 2 and 4 Saturdays provided suitable arrangements are in place. Such as rotation for staff, different branches open on alternative weekends, seeking volunteers and more importantly the banks must have demonstrated a caring and fair treatment of its employees.

  20. At the outset these other banks took the initiative to implement the above measures to minimized adverse impact on their employees. And where overtime needs to be paid, the other banks re prepared in principle to pay full overtime instead of meal allowance.

  21. SCB refused and is the leading opponent the uniformity in overtime rates between Sabah Sarawak and NUBE. Do you know what SCB insisted initially?

  22. In February 2003, SCB actually wanted to continue the 5 ½ day week for Kuching- meaning that Employees in Kuching work from 9.00am to 5.30pm on  Mondays to Thursdays; from 9am to 5pm on Fridays and 9am to 1 pm on 2 and 4th Saturdays.  Meaning it will not introduce a 5 days week for Kuching employees while 30 other branch in Sarawak and Malaysia have the 5 day week.  This is again consistent with the Banks mantra of maximizing its exploitation of employees.

  23. The reason that it wanted such arrangements is so that they do not have to pay overtime.  So it itself wanted to stick with the 5 1/.2 day week for Kuching employees (it was only after  meeting with SCBA that SCB reluctant agreed to pay overtime for those who has to work on 2 and 4th Saturdays).

  24. To us the issue is clear, since the bank is not willing to implement a full 5 days week for all employees, then we must follow the CA.  Please also note that unlike the CA with NUBE, in Sarawak our CA does not allow the bank to implement 5 ½ day week.

  25. So who is being unreasonable? SBEU for believing that all employees should work the same hours and all employees to be treated equal- or the Bank who demand absolute say in managing its employees to reduce cost and to violate an expressed provision of a Court Award?

  26. The bank to this day continued to intentionally violate the CA so that it can exploit employees to the maximum.   

    PARA 13 of Bank’s letter

  27. So is the  Bank reasonable
  • Is cheating employees out of $20,000 reasonable?
  • Has the bank been reasonable in managing your performance appraisal?
  • Has the bank been reasonable in setting you KPIs and targets?
  • Is violating the CA reasonable?
  • Is making employees work in dusty environment reasonable
  • Has the bank practiced open communication and informed which employees get the most performance bonus?

    PARA 14 of Bank’s letter

  1. The Bank made more than 2 Billion the past 5 years- has the Bank been reasonable in paying your performance bonus?  More than 2 Billion the past 5 years- how do clerical employees get??
  2. So working for whose benefits???? What extra benefit the bank give apart from our rightful dues under the CA. The rights under the CA are achieved through the tolls and sweats of all members.  And it is achieved through the gracious office of SCBA-not SCB

We will continue to issue more information and facts as to how the bank continues to exploit employees and customers for the benefits the top management and shareholders.

So colleagues, you all know what to do to protect your rights and interest and to prevent any further exploitation. 

Yours fraternally.


Andrew Lo
General Secretary/


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