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PSC must change policies and mindset

 | September 10, 2012

It's pointless lowering entry qualification for Dayak when the problem lies in the Public Service Commission's biased policies, say Sarawak graduates.

KUCHING: Dayak leaders in Sarawak, victims of the Public Service Commission’s biased policies and closed mindset, are fuming over  Zaki Azmi’s  (Chairman of Special Review Commission on Civil Service Transformation) recent ‘insult’ against their community.

Zaki was widely reported as saying that the only way to address the disparity in the number of Dayaks in the civil service was by lowering the entry-level qualification for them.

His statement sparked widespread anger in Sarawak, with the  the Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) also expressing scorn.

SDGA president Dr Dusit Jaul said while it is laudable that the government is finally ‘seeing’ the Dayaks, it is “pointless”  to just review the entry qualification, because the problem in this case was not in the quality of Dayaks but in the “policies” practiced.

“Dayak youths are similar to youths in other communities and they too, have attended formal education with a great many of them having a good pass in public examinations, from SPM to universities. They have the knowledge and skills but lack opportunities,” said Jaul.

According to Jaul, from feedback gathered by SDGA, many Dayak youths had registered online with the Public Service Department (PSD) for government jobs.

But in many instances, most of them were never called for an interview. And those who were called for an interview strangely failed in the process.

“This is one issue that the government through the PSC must address seriously. There is no point talking about it (entry level qualifications). What the Dayak communities want the PSC to do is to be considerate and be fair with their policies.

“This applies not just in terms of recruitment but in promotions to senior posts as well, ” said Jaul, himself a victim of these lopsided government policies.

Quotas needed for Dayaks

Jaul, who is a senior INTAN lecturer, did not hide his feelings that he is also a victim of discrimination in terms of promotion. “My promotion is long overdue, but nobody sees this.”

Jaul, who is retiring in a couple of years should have been promoted long time ago as INTAN state director or even as deputy director-general.

Many of his junior colleagues have by-passed him for promotions. Another Dayak intellectual who shared Jaul’s views was a retired civil servant, who declined to be named.

He believes Dayaks should be given quotas as well as opportunities to enter the civil service.

“It appears now that the Dayaks have not only been neglected to enter the civil service, but also been deprived of promotion opportunities,” he said.

The officer said he too, had been discriminated while in service. Although he is a PhD holder, he was given a junior rank and retired as a Division One officer in the A22 scheme of service.

“The Public Service Commission refused to recognise my educational background,” he said.

Apply Article 153

Meanwhile, Patrick Sibat Sujang, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) consultant said if Zaki and the government were “really sincere and serious” about Dayaks’ participation in the civil service, they should apply Article 153 of the Federal Constitution where it clearly states that the natives of the states of Sabah and Sarawak should be given quotas.

“Article 153: Reservation of quotas in respect of services, permits, etc., for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak state:  (3)  The Yang Dipertuan Agong may, in order to ensure in accordance with clause (2) the reservation to Malays and natives of any States of Sabah and Sarawak of positions in public service and of scholarships, exhibitions and other educational or training privileges or special facilities, give such directions as maybe required for that purpose to any commission to which Part X applies or to any authority charged with responsibility for the grant of such scholarships, exhibitions or other educational or training privileges or special facilities; and the commission  or authority shall duly comply with the directions.’

“Has the government complied with these requirements?” asked Sujang.


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