I am nearly 87 and I am a patriotic citizen. I am an old businessman and, with my experience, I am confident that I can help our government to improve our economy. In fact, I financially supported the Pakatan Harapan government in the last general election.
After I read that our former second finance minister Johari Abdul Ghani said that currently, we have the largest civil service relative to our population in the world – the largest per capita in the world – I wrote and posted my article “My proposal for the reduction and improvement of our civil service” on Aug 10.
Johari said: “We have a total of 1.6 million civil servants – that is one government servant to service 19.37 Malaysians. For comparison, the proportion of civil servants to the national population in other countries is 1 to 71.4 people in Singapore, 1:110 in Indonesia, 1:50 in Korea, 1:108 in China, 1:28 in Japan, 1:84 in Russia and 1:118 in Britain.
“The bloated civil service has caused government expenditure to increase yearly, leading to the escalating drop in revenue. Already 80% of the federal government’s annual budget goes towards operating expenditure and a large chunk of this is to pay for salaries and pensions.”
In my article, I wrote the following six useful proposals for the new PH government to reduce and improve the bloated civil service, created by the previous Barisan Nasional government:
1. Stop the employment of new civil servants and gradually the number will reduce as more and more employees retire to receive pension.
2. The government should seriously look through the list of employees in each department and give notice for retirement to those redundant employees.
3. As you know, the armed forces personnel are doing nothing except eating and sleeping. In fact, almost all of them have never fired a shot except at target practice. Some of them should replace the foreign workers in the Felda plantations.
4. Implement the NEP as originally proposed to eradicate poverty on a non-racial basis. It should not be exclusively for Bumiputeras. If some non-Malays are employed in the civil service it will improve its efficiency. Managing the country is like managing hundreds of companies in doing various kind of businesses.
5. The government must practise meritocracy in the selection and promotion of employees. By this way, the whole civil service will improve and fewer employees are required.
6. Education is the key to success in every nation and teachers play a very important part. Currently, almost all the teachers are Malays. The government should not employ teachers based on race but based on meritocracy.
My reason for asking the armed forces to help in Felda is that Felda has been losing billions of ringgit every year and its 2017 annual report shows that it has accumulated RM10 billion in losses and RM12 billion in debt.
Felda is still losing billions of ringgit every year. I believe the soldiers can prevent theft of palm oil and supervise the huge workforce.
The BN government created the largest number of civil servants per capita in the world. My objective in making my six proposals is for the PH government to reduce administration cost and improve our economy.
I regret that I used insulting words in asking the armed forces, which are a large part of the civil servants, to help in Felda. I have absolutely no intention to insult anybody. I am very sorry for my mistake. I truly appreciate the sacrifice and contribution of the armed forces to the nation.
I have written to apologise to the armed forces for my mistake.
Koon Yew Yin is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.