The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) today urged Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to ignore the calls to cut down the bloated civil service.
This is because there are only 500,000 civil servants and not 1.6 million as claimed by others, reasoned Cuepacs president Azih Muda.
"According to Article 132 of the Federal Constitution, our civil service included the police, army, health and education, whereas these four branches are not included in other developed countries," he said.
According to him, there are currently 450,000 employees in the Education Ministry, 270,000 in the Health Ministry and 300,000 are employed in the police and armed forces.
"Cuepacs unanimously rejected the proposal by ex-civil servants to downsize the civil service," Azih said at a press conference after the issue was discussed at a special congress earlier today.
He said the government is not burdened by RM87 billion expenditure for 1.6 million civil servants as the size of the country's economy has reached RM1.3 trillion.
Azih was responding to former treasurer secretary-general Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim who suggested the government cut down the "oversized" civil service, and Finance Minister II Johari Abdul Ghani who acknowledged that bloated civil service has caused government expenditure to rise yearly.
Citing Greece that was forced to retrench its civil servants abruptly, Sheriff said it would be kinder for Malaysia to retrench the civil servants and compensate them fairly when the country can still afford to do so.
Johari had been reported saying that Malaysia has the largest proportion of civil service in the world, amounting to one civil servant for every 19.37 people.
He had said that there was however, no need to downsize the civil service.
The ratio of the population to the civil service in other countries, are among others, Singapore (1:71.4 people), Indonesia 1:110, Korea 1:50, China 1:108, Japan 1:28, Russia 1:84 and the United Kingdom 1:118.
Azih questioned why the matter (bloated civil service) was not brought up by Johari's predecessor.
"Is it because the current minister is smarter than the previous one?
"We know that our prime minister is not that bad, he understands the civil service," he said.
Azih then called Sheriff to "retire" and refrain from blurting out remarks that could cost low ranking civil servants their rice bowls.
He further asked whether the remark, issued at a time when the general election is just around the corner, was meant to anger civil servants or make them feel restless. - Mkini