Government should set up a special Cabinet task force or bipartisan Parliamentary Select Committee to address the pressing problem of low and declining non Bumiputra composition in the civil service
In the recent parliamentary sitting, I had submitted a question about the racial breakdown of the civil service composition, reasons for the low non bumiputra composition and steps taken to attract more non bumiputras to join the civil service.
On April 9, I had received a written reply from Datuk Joseph Entulu, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
His reply, among others, stated: -
1. The total number of civil servants as at December 2014 is 1,606, 463. The racial breakdown is Malays 78.8%, Bumiputra Sabah 6.1%, Bumiputra Sarawak 4.8%, Bumiputra lain 0.3%, Chinese 5.2 %, Indian 4.1%, other races 0.7%.
2. Low number of applications and low interest from the non Bumiputras are among the reasons for their low number in the civil service.
3. In 2014, a total of 1, 605, 245 applications were received by Public Service Commission. The breakdown are Malays ( 1,265,543 or 78.84% ), Chinese 33,099 or 2.06% ) Indian s ( 59,355 or 3.7.% ) , Bumiputra Sabah ( 123,374 or 7.7% ) , Bumiputra Sarawak ( 90,857 or 5.7%) and Peninsular Orange Asli ( 3.124 or 0.2% ) .
4. For 2014, from the total 5,338 Chinese applicants who attended the interviews, 50.82% were recruited into the service. From 6,158 Indian applicants who attended interviews, 35.63 % were recruited. For Malays, from 146, 621 applicants who attended interviews, 27.99 % were recruited.
Although the government has said that it has taken various steps to encourage non Bumiputra participation in the civil service, it is clear that the steps have not been effective.
In fact, the statistics revealed by Joseph Entulu has shown that the percentage of non Bumiputra civil servants has been on the decline.
In October 2004, then Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Kamsiyah Yeop had revealed in a parliamentary reply that there had been a sharp drop of non-Malay civil servants from 29.7 per cent Chinese and 9.8 Indians in 1980 to 8.2 per cent Chinese and 5.2 % Indians in 2003.
Now at 2014, as revealed by Joseph Entulu, the percentages of Chinese and Indian stand at 5.2% and 4.1% respectively.
Such low and declining percentage of non Bumiputra civil servants is certainly unhealthy for a multi racial Malaysia.
Although the government has said that the low interest is a main reason for the low number of non Bumiputra civil servants, the number of applicants and those who were called for interviews show that many have actually shown interest to be civil servants.
The question is why many who attended interviews were not recruited? Were they not qualified?
The undesirable and unhealthy racial composition of the civil service must be effectively addressed and the government should set up a special Cabinet task force or a bi partisan parliamentary select committee to look into effective measures to resolve the pressing problem.