PETALING JAYA: The civil service should represent every ethnic community in Malaysia as civil servants affect both public policy and its implementation, says activist Kua Kia Soong.
The former Petaling Jaya MP said it was “high time” to introduce a full merit system to attract more non-Malays and to enhance the capacity and performance of the civil service.
“There must be equal opportunities in recruitment and career advancement,” he said in a statement today.
Recently, Penang deputy chief minister P Ramasamy, in a posting on Facebook, urged the government to carry out reforms in the public service sector, claiming that it is being dominated by the Malays.
He also urged Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to immediately address the issue and ensure the public service reflects the ethnic composition of the country.
In his response, Anwar said the government would not consider the call for reforms to break the Malay domination in the civil service, adding that it did not view the matter as an issue.
Kua said the civil service was “bloated”, claiming that there were 1.7 million civil servants to a population of 32 million.
He said the “oversized bureaucracy” had created massive leakages in the economy, adding that there was also a gross under-representation of non-Malay and east Malaysian indigenous communities in the civil service at all levels.
“This surely has consequences not only for justice and civil rights of non-Malays but also for the pursuit of meritocracy in the Malaysian civil service,” he said.
Citing a World Bank report, which said recruitment of the civil servants was not fair and neutral with Malaysia scoring very poorly on the indicators for impartiality in the government, Kua said there was bound to be repercussions on the accountability and openness of the public sector.
“Isn’t it time that the predominantly Malay civil service be restructured to reflect egalitarian aims?” he said.