‘Don’t misinterpret what Mahathir said on reducing civil service’

Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

SEMENYIH: Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today hoped the people would not misinterpret Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement that the number of civil servants was too large and needed to be reduced.

He said the statement must be properly understood because Mahathir did not say the number must be reduced in one go, adding he meant to decrease the number over a period of time through industrialisation and use of technology.

“You have to read it in a wider context,” the Pakatan Harapan (PH) deputy president told a press conference at PH main operations room for the Semenyih state by-election.

At a dialogue with Malaysian Armed Forces officers and personnel in Kuala Lumpur earlier today, Mahathir had said the number of civil servants now was 1.7 million and that it was too large and should be reduced.

Muhyiddin said he does not agree that the size of the civil service should be reduced all at once.

“I will not agree if Dr Mahathir wants to reduce the number of civil servants straightaway because I believe that civil servants are still important.

“It will have to be done in phases, but not in a year or two,” he said.

On another matter, Muhyiddin said Felda and FGV Holdings Berhad faced problems due to the wrongdoings of the previous management and government.

“By right, assistance should have been given for the progress of the settlers but they are shouldering a burden today,” he said.