"Tony Pua is reeling over his proposal to cut the number of civil servants. He said they were costing the nation too much and he implied that there were too many deadwood among them. [Read Civil Servants, DAP wants to cut your jobs! by Parochial Sarawakian]. If I was a civil servant, I would not feel very civil towards Pua. Who the hell does this greenhorn think he is? But I am not a civil servant. Yet, I still feel upset. I can understand Cuepacs' reaction, why they think Pua was insulting them and that it's a cheap publicity move. Do I think Pua's statement racist, as "chauvinist" Shahrir Samad allegedly made him out to be? Of course not, he is from DAP and everyone but the DAP is racist. The fact remains that the majority of civil servants are Bumiputeras and Melayus, so Pua's grand plan will affect the Samads more than the Puas out there."
Malaysia's civil servants: Bloated, lazy and too big?
I had just finished writing the above paragraph when this young man, a researcher by profession, came by to say hello. We had "met" in cyberspace before but not in real life. I told him what I was writing about. I offered him coffee, which he politely declined, but he offered me his views:
"Our civil service is too big? In the first place, who are we comparing ourselves with? In Singapore, it seems, the civil service does not include the army, the police or even the teachers. If Malaysia is to exclude these professions from its definition of civil service, Malaysia would instantly be left with only 500,000 civil servants. Is that small enough for Pua? If it is, then all we need to do is adjust the definition of civil servants to exclude our policemen and policewomen, our soldiers and our teachers. Most of these 500,000 are support staff. Gaji kecik. The top ones, the ones drawing the big salaries, aren't many. There are only about 50 civil servants who are in the CEO category (but they get nothing like the CEOs in the private sector get, not by far). Unfortunately, mostly Melayus also. Surely YB Tony Pua is sensitive about that."
That was what he said, in a nutshell. Betul ke? Is our civil service really so bloated? Are civil servants in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines (the ones Pua reportedly cited) better and more effective than our civil servants?
I am sure there is always room for improvement, but this applies not only to our civil servants and I am sure Pua will agree with me. Right now, he is reeling.You can tell when he admits (or, rather, claims) that the PM has also made a similar proposal in his Budget 2012 speech tabled last month in Parliament.
“When Najib says it (measures to cut civil service), everything is good, but when Tony Pua says it, he is a racist,” he quipped. [quoted from Malaysiakini, Is PM anti-Melayu, too?]Does that mean Pua was admitting to copying Najib Razak's proposal? It sure sounds that way but we alI remember the claim made by Anwar Ibrahim that it Najib Razak had copied the Pakatan Rakyat's shadow budget!
When it stinks/stings, no politician wants to own up. Most will pass the buck.