State government to look into bank closure

KUCHING: Standard Chartered Bank’s decision to close its Bintulu branch is entirely theirs but the state government will still look into it, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“The closure is the bank’s own decision, but the welfare of the laid-off staff must be looked into,” he said to reporters after officiating at the Congress of the Union of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs)’s office in Jalan Bamfylde here, yesterday.

“The matter should be referred to the Sarawak Bank Employees’ Union (SBEU) while the state government will find out why the bank chose to close down the branch.”

Abang Johari speaks to reporters after officiating at the Ceupacs office in Jalan Bamfylde.

SBEU had asked the chief minister and Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing to intervene in the closure of the branch.

Its secretary-general, Law Kiat Min, stated that the bank offered Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) to the workers to make them leave, which he described as “appalling”.

“We requested the bank through their human resources department to improve the package but the request was rejected.

“The bank’s chief executive officer has not responded to our letter too,” he said in a statement issued yesterday.

Law also mentioned that the bank staff members are left with only two choices — take the VSS or face being uprooted from their hometown and transferred to another town which will cause great inconvenience to them and their families.

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