KUCHING: The Malaysian civil service is right at the top when it comes to the size of the civil service.
There is one civil servant for every 19.37 people in the country, according to Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani.
A Borneo Post report said the proportion of civil servants to the national population in other countries such as Singapore is 1 to 71.4 people; Indonesia 1:110; Korea 1:50, China 1:108, Japan 1:28, Russia 1:84 and the United Kingdom 1:118.
The bloated civil service of 1.6 million has caused government expenditure to rise yearly, The Borneo Post quoted Johari as having told the Chinese-language Oriental Daily.
Despite the fact that salaries and pensions to civil servants continue to soar, the government has no plans to reduce the number of civil servants, according to Johari.
“One of the issues that we have to address is the ever-increasing government operating costs and expenses.
“For example, we have about 1.6 million civil servants, which is the world’s largest proportion of civil service,” Johari was quoted as having said.
“In 2003, the pay of public servants totalled RM22 billion, but it increased to RM74 billion by 2016. In 2003, the pension of civil servants was RM5.9 billion, and in 2016 the amount soared to RM19 billion,” he was quoted as saying.
Johari acknowledged that payments would continue to increase in future while the government’s revenues would gradually decline.
“In particular, revenues from the palm oil and natural gas industries, which generated profits of about RM65 billion in 2014, fell sharply to RM30 billion in 2016.
“We will not reduce our existing civil service. Instead, we should encourage civil servants to undertake more jobs in their respective departments to increase their productivity,” Johari was quoted as having told Oriental Daily.
Bernama reported last March that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim had told parliament that as at December 2014, the ethnic composition of the civil service was as follows: 78.8% Malays, Bumiputera Sabah (6.1%), Bumiputera Sarawak (4.8 %), Chinese (5.2 %), Indians (4.1 %), Other Bumiputera (0.3%) and Others (0.7%).