Country’s current size of civil service is still ideal, says Cuepacs

Cuepacs president Adnan Mat says the actual number of civil servants in Malaysia is 600,000 people. - NSTP file picCuepacs president Adnan Mat says the actual number of civil servants in Malaysia is 600,000 people. – NSTP file pic

KUALA LUMPUR: The current size of the country’s civil service with 1.6 million people is still ideal since it includes personnel from the public health and education sectors as well as those attached to security and enforcement agencies.

The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) president Adnan Mat said the actual number of civil servants was 600,000 people. This was if Malaysia adopted the same approach as other developed countries by excluding the armed forces, police, education and health personnel in their definition of public sector.

“Taking into consideration the present challenges (brought about by the global Covid-19 pandemic) and the preparation for the future, we still need more people in the education, security and the public health sectors,” said Adnan in a statement today.

He was responding to an Opinion piece written by Datuk Dr Fauziah Mohd Taib titled “Is It Time To Trim The Civil Service?” published in the New Straits Times today.

Fauziah in her column pointed out that the pandemic had forced ministries and agencies to embrace the new normal and that more work could be done online.

Although the growth in civil service had provided more jobs, Fauziah said, it also resulted in the government having a bigger obligation to service pension.

Adnan described Fauziah’s view that the civil service could still operate at 30 per cent capacity as inaccurate and that it could mislead the public.

“In actual fact, the civil service is still operating at 100 per cent capacity irrespective on the ground, at the office or from homes.

“The 30 per cent capacity (as pointed out by Fauziah) only involved civil servants who are required to be at their respective offices in selected states, during the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in October last year.

“Civil servants who are not required to come to the office during the period are still performing their duties from home with the assistance of technology and equipment,” he said.

The efficiency and effectiveness of the civil service, he said, had helped to ensure smooth government delivery services despite the movement restrictions resulting from the measures implemented by the government to stem the spread of the virus.

He said Cuepacs expressed hoped that Fauziah could use the right channel in the future by expressing her views with the Public Services Department and not on a public platform with facts that could be inaccurate.

By Adib Povera

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