Tuesday, January 31, 2017
KUCHING: The Malaysian civil service is right at the top when it comes to the size of the civil service.
There is one civil servant for every 19.37 people in the country, according to Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani.
A Borneo Post report said the proportion of civil servants to the national population in other countries such as Singapore is 1 to 71.4 people; Indonesia 1:110; Korea 1:50, China 1:108, Japan 1:28, Russia 1:84 and the United Kingdom 1:118.
The bloated civil service of 1.6 million has caused government expenditure to rise yearly, The Borneo Post quoted Johari as having told the Chinese-language Oriental Daily.
Despite the fact that salaries and pensions to civil servants continue to soar, the government has no plans to reduce the number of civil servants, according to Johari.
“One of the issues that we have to address is the ever-increasing government operating costs and expenses.
“For example, we have about 1.6 million civil servants, which is the world’s largest proportion of civil service,” Johari was quoted as having said.
“In 2003, the pay of public servants totalled RM22 billion, but it increased to RM74 billion by 2016. In 2003, the pension of civil servants was RM5.9 billion, and in 2016 the amount soared to RM19 billion,” he was quoted as saying.
Johari acknowledged that payments would continue to increase in future while the government’s revenues would gradually decline.
“In particular, revenues from the palm oil and natural gas industries, which generated profits of about RM65 billion in 2014, fell sharply to RM30 billion in 2016.
“We will not reduce our existing civil service. Instead, we should encourage civil servants to undertake more jobs in their respective departments to increase their productivity,” Johari was quoted as having told Oriental Daily.
Bernama reported last March that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim had told parliament that as at December 2014, the ethnic composition of the civil service was as follows: 78.8% Malays, Bumiputera Sabah (6.1%), Bumiputera Sarawak (4.8 %), Chinese (5.2 %), Indians (4.1 %), Other Bumiputera (0.3%) and Others (0.7%). FMT
Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam has reassured Malaysians that the price hikes in public hospital wards will not affect the poor.
This is because third class ward charges will remain at RM3 per night, Subramaniam said.
First and second class ward charges at public hospitals went up 50 percent and 20 percent respectively, starting Jan 1.
He said cabinet decided to raise the charges because they have not been reviewed for a long time.
"I will like to reassure all Malaysians that the government will not abrogate its responsibility to the poor and those from the low income group.
"They will continue to receive the high level of care that they have been receiving as before," Subramaniam said in a statement issued by the ministry today.
First class ward charges went up from RM30 to RM45 a day this year, while second class ward charges went up from RM20 to RM25.
Charges, however, differ according to types of rooms and facilities, the ministry said.
It said this is far cheaper than charges in private hospitals, where one night in a first class ward could cost RM150 to RM400 while, second class ward charges cost RM70 to RM150 a night.
The ministry estimates the price hike would affect some 32,000 patients, or a mere 1.6 percent of patients warded at public hospitals.
Outpatient specialist charges remain at RM5 per consultation, which also includes medication. Patients at Klinik Kesihatan still pay RM1 per visit.- Mkini
A serial rapist, suspected of assaulting as many as 1,000 victims, has been ordered to be sent back to Malaysia, following the completion of his 24-year prison term in Canada.
Selva Kumar Subbiah, 56, will be accompanied back to Malaysia by three guards from the Canada Border Services Agency, Canadian newspaper Toronto Star reported.
Currently held in custody until Sunday, he was arrested last Saturday when he became eligible for mandatory release after serving his entire prison sentence.
The hearing was told that Malaysian officials had already approved a flight permit for him. However, there was no mention of whether he would walk free in Malaysia or be turned over to law enforcement officials in Malaysia.
At the time of his sentencing, Justice David Humphrey ordered police to accompany Selva Kumar back to Malaysia and give police here his extensive criminal file.
Selva Kumar was convicted at two separate trials more than two decades ago of drugging and sexually assaulting 30 women. But the hearing was told that there might have been hundreds more victims.
“As many as 500 to 1,000 could have been attacked,” said Naima Karimullah, a lawyer for the Canada Border Services Agency.
Selva Kumar’s criminal file appeared to be more than a foot thick.
At a hearing in June 2016, he was found ineligible for parole because he was considered “likely to commit an offence causing death or serious harm to another person”.
Andrew Laut, who chaired the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada hearing on Monday, told Selva Kumar that he was “the worst offender and the highest risk that has ever come before him in his career”.
Laut also noted that he was declared a “danger to the public” in November 1994, which meant that he could not apply for refugee status.
Selva Kumar, a short, soft-spoken man with a slight British accent, said he was prepared to return to Malaysia, where he has not lived since 1980.
“I’m ready to leave, sir,” he told Laut at Monday’s hearing.
He had previously argued that he would be the victim of discrimination in Malaysia because he is Jewish.
Previously, he had fought unsuccessfully to block Toronto Star from reporting details of his hearing or from photographing him via a video hook-up, arguing that it would be dangerous for him and pointing out that it had already been reported broadly in the media.
Toronto Star however argued that it was important for his victims to know the details of his case and what he looks like now.
“I believe the Malaysian public should be fully aware,” one victim told Toronto Star. “Every border should have his picture.”
One of Selva Kumar’s victims said she was still struggling to cope with the attack on her in the mid-1980s.
“It’s painful,” the woman said. “It’s not easy to go through. But it’s important to talk, to move forward ... to know that you’re not the only one.”
Another victim expressed hope that she could finally relax when Selva Kumar had been deported.
“It’s still sort of a presence,” she said. “Maybe the day after he’s finally gone, I’ll maybe celebrate with a glass of wine.”
Claimed to have studied divinity
Selva Kumar arrived in Canada in 1980 but never obtained permanent resident status. He was granted student and visitor’s visas, and claimed to have studied divinity at McMaster University and Ryerson, but did not graduate from any post-secondary course.
He married two women, one of whom fled the country to escape abuse, the hearing heard.
In 1992, he was convicted at the first of two trials that would ultimately see him sentenced to 24 years in prison for 19 counts of sexual assault, 28 counts of administering a drug or noxious substance, 10 counts of various kinds of assault and a dozen other charges, including extortion.
He committed several of his crimes while posing as a model agent or movie talent scout, often using the names Richard Wild and Ryan Hunter.
Occasionally, he also posed as a professional dancer, a lawyer or a diplomat. He also lured women to the basement of his home through advertisements offering to sell exotic pets.
He would offer them a drink laced with drugs, then rape them and take photos of their naked bodies while they were unconscious.
His trial heard that he was carrying a black book containing the names of 170 women, rated on a scale of 0 to 10, when police arrested him on Aug 7, 1991.
Meanwhile, local daily The Star quoted Immigration Department director-general Mustafar Ali confirming that the department had its own system to vet inbound and outbound passengers to spot sex offenders.
The system filters inbound and outbound passengers using air, land or sea modes of transportation.
“The system does not just cater to those suspected of paedophilia.
“We also share information through other sources and agencies, including Interpol,” he said.
Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed too said the Immigration Department could stop anyone from entering or leaving the country.
“We (police) also have a suspects' list, which is shared with immigration,” he added.
It was reported that immigration officers at the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali stopped an Australian from entering the island, following an Interpol report alleging the man is a paedophile.
The man arrived at the airport on Friday from Perth and was deported the next day.- Mkini
Opposition leaders want Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to explain his government's move to drastically hike petrol prices by 20 sen a litre from today, despite international crude oil prices having fallen slightly in the month of January.
Malaysians of all races who just returned from the Chinese New Year holidays, Petaling Jaya Utara lawmaker Tony Pua said, received a shock when Najib presented them with a big “ang pow” - the big hike in RON95 and RON97 prices to RM2.30 and RM2.60 a litre respectively, while diesel increased by 10 sen to RM2.15.
This represented a 9.5 percent increase for RON 95, a 8.3 percent increase for RON 97 and a 4.9 percent increase for diesel, he said in a statement today.
“While (the hike) is painful, Malaysians could perhaps have understood when fuel prices went up in January. It was the result of an increase in global crude oil prices for the month of December. Brent crude prices went up from US$51.48 a barrel to US$56.73 in December 2016.
“However, Malaysians cannot understand why the prices were increased for February when the Brent crude price actually declined slightly in January, to approximately US$55.86 a barrel,” Pua (photo) said.
Pua, who is DAP national publicity secretary, also claimed that even if one were to second guess that the fuel price hike was due to the ringgit depreciation, it still didn’t add up.
In December 2016, he said, the ringgit depreciated from RM4.38 to RM4.48 to the US dollar.
However, last month, the ringgit was trading at approximately RM4.42 to the dollar, which meant it had marginally strengthened that month.
“Therefore, the increase in fuel prices cannot be the result of any increase in crude oil prices or further depreciation of the ringgit,” Pua said.
“Hence Najib, as both the prime minister and finance minister, must explain why petrol prices have increased so significantly,” he said, adding that the Finance Ministry must also disclose whether the government is actually imposing hidden taxes on consumers to cover up government budget shortfalls.
Pua further reminded Najib that a week ago, he had said he did not want a situation where ministries use excuses, such as “not enough budget”, to not implement people-oriented projects.
“Not receiving money or not enough budget should not be an excuse for any operating ministry not to start a project or programme.
“If the above is the reason for the hefty hike in fuel prices this month, does that mean the people are forced to pay for the so-called ‘people-oriented projects’ so that the Najib-BN administration can claim credit?” he asked.
Therefore, the government must provide a full disclosure of the data, formula and exact details on how the fuel price hikes are calculated.
This, he added, is so that Malaysians will know exactly why they have been forced to suffer as a result of the government’s policies.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who also argued that the fuel cost hike was unreasonable, pointed to how there was no reason for the increase in the price of fuel.
“The prime minister must swiftly give an explanation on the increase in the price of petrol and diesel.
“At the same time, I urge the government to re-consider providing fuel subsidies and to reduce the goods and services tax (GST) rate to lessen the rakyat’s burden,” she said.
Citing the Brent crude oil price which has declined, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man also questioned the increase in fuel prices.
The PAS leader is of the opinion that the impact from the increase in fuel prices could not be reversed even if the price of fuel decreases in the coming months.
“When the price of goods and services have increased, it’s quite impossible for it to be reduced as it is related to the wages and income of certain quarters.
“That’s why many have asked the government not to increase the price of fuel on a whim as this will lead to the increase in the price of goods and services,” he added.
This year has become more challenging as a result of a government which is not concerned over the rakyat’s plight, said Tuan Ibrahim.- Mkini