The government should restructure the civil service, starting by abolishing the Special Affairs Department (Jasa), said Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli today.
"I call on (Prime Minister) Najib Abdul Razak's administration to review and immediately abolish the agencies, departments and ministries which were set up to campaign for Umno/BN.
"These agencies, set up for politic purposes, should be funded by BN and Umno, instead of the people. As such, Jasa should be the first department to go," he said in a statement today.
Rafizi was commenting on former Treasury secretary-general Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim's call to retrench the over bloated civil service when the country can still afford it.
Sheriff cited Greece which abruptly cut down its civil service to reduce its operations expenditure when it was hit hard, economically.
"I would say, although it may cost the government heavy expenditure to retrench (civil servants), it is worthwhile to do it now when we can still afford it, rather than waiting until we are forced into a financial crisis like what happened in Greece," he had said.
Malaysia currently has 1.6 million civil servants and the government has to allocate RM76 billion annually on salaries and allowances. Another RM21.6 billion is spent on pensions.
Commenting further, Rafizi said the allocation for Jasa continued to grow from RM22.87 million in 2016 to RM22.89 million this year.
"Meaning, Jasa is one of the special departments that will not suffer budget cuts compared with other agencies of greater importance, such as education and health," said the PKR vice-president.
Recently, Jasa came under the spotlight for organising a briefing for Malaysian students in Sydney on the 1MDB controversy, and kicked out a a Wall Street Journal journalist from the venue.
It was also reported that Jasa had spent RM628,000 to publish booklets on 1MDB fiasco and the red-shirts rally.
"The easiest test to see whether Najib respects former senior officers like Sheriff is by abolishing Jasa and save RM22 million of public funds annually. The money can be used to fund 4,400 outstanding students in local universities," Rafizi said.- Mkini