Most top federal civil service posts in East Malaysia are still being held by those from the Peninsula, a prickly matter for a Sabahan MP.
In a parliamentary written response to Sepanggar MP (SAPP) Eric Majimbun, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said that 8 out of 24 people holding top federal service positions in Sabah were Sabahans.
Eleven out of 22 people holding federal service positions in Sarawak were Sarawakian, the response added.
In Sabah, 64% of the 16,858 federal management and professional posts (10,816) as well as 87% of the 49,955 lower-ranking (termed as “pelaksana”) posts (40,108) were held by Sabahans.
For Sarawak, 70% of the 15,060 federal management and professional posts (10,534), while 91% of the 49,778 lower-ranking (termed as “pelaksana”) posts (45,325) were held by Sarawakians.
These numbers did not appear to include security forces such as the military or the police.
Speaking to FMT, Majimbun accused the federal government of marginalising East Malaysians, especially where the civil service was concerned.
He said that the matter was more serious in Sabah than it was in Sarawak, with posts being allocated in recent years.
“No doubt the federal government has been trying to patch up, especially in the last few years with the election round the corner.
“Posts have been given to Sabahans in recent years, but this is just an eye-wash. For over 40 years, posts have hardly been given to Sabahans.
“Even if they have been given director posts, they don’t have any power,” he said.
For example, Majimbun said that most district police chiefs were not even Sabahans.
Using Sabah as a trial ground
The Sepanggar MP also did not believe Najib’s numbers, alleging that many Sabahans could have been West Malaysians in disguise.
“There are West Malaysians who are transferred to Sabah, and have to work for a few years, so they bring their families here.
“When they apply for a job here, they will [call themselves] as Sabahan,” he said.
Another issue on this, he added, was Putrajaya’s tendency to use Sabah as a trial ground for West Malaysian graduate teachers in schools there.
This, he said, was detrimental to Sabahan students as they would not get quality education.
Borneanisation is one of the topics listed under Sabah’s 20-Point Agreement with Malaysia, following its inclusion into the Federation in 1963.
This stated that the Borneanisation of the civil service would proceed as quickly as possible.
Some critics have pointed out that this has not happened, and that West Malaysians still have a firm grip over the civil service there.