It is no secret that the public service in Malaysia was dominated by Bumiputeras. Recently, a senior government retiree has called on the government to look into the alleged discrimination in the hiring process.
According to FMT, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, who held important posts in the government, including deputy secretary-general of the Finance Ministry urged the government to provide proof that the government hires on merit.
“We need details because these figures are too general and these figures must be made public,” he was quoted as saying.
This came after the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public Service (Cuepacs) rejected Seputeh MP Teresa Kok’s call to make the civil service more racially balanced.
According to Cuepacs president Datuk Adnan Mat, he said Teresa’s claim is baseless and insisted that a person’s race had never been a determining factor in the hiring or promotion of civil servants.
Adnan also said that participation in public service is dependent on the will, interests, and inclinations of the individual.
“The response from non-Bumiputera in public service is seen as lacking because civil service has a lower salary compared to working in the private sector or doing business,” he said.
Previously, Kok said the civil service has been dominated by Bumiputeras since the introduction of the New Basic Economy in 1970 and that national factors should not be the determining factor in hiring or upgrading lay officials.
She said this after Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Duties), Datuk Dr. Abdul Latiff Ahmad revealed that approximately 90% of the 1.2 million civil servants are Bumiputeras.
Meanwhile, Tawfik Ismail, a former MP from UMNO, explained that non-Malays choose not to join the civil service as there are no prospects for advancement.
“The reason for Malay-centricity in the service is politics of patronage practised by the government,” he said.
He also claimed that the Islamisation in the country occurred during Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim’s time when they were the prime minister and deputy prime minister had “scared off” non-Muslims from joining the civil service.
Former treasury secretary-general Sheriff Kassim said the government should announce a policy that provides equal opportunity in all branches of the civil service, irrespective of race and religion.
“This will attract more graduates from top universities and non-Malays to join the administrative, technical and professional branches,” he said.
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