KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) today rejected calls for the civil service to be downsized in order to reduce the financial burden on Putrajaya.
Cuepacs president Datuk Azih Muda claimed that the more than 1.5 million public workers were not taxing government coffers, despite Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani saying that the civil-servant-to-citizen ratio in Malaysia was among the highest worldwide.
“We hope that the prime minister does not pay heed to such suggestions. This is a suggestion that does not help the lower-level civil workers,” he said during a press conference here today.
The suggestion to downsize the civil service was made by former Treasury Secretary General Tan Sri Sheriff Mohd Kassim during a recent forum.
Azih also argued that teachers, doctors, military and police personnel should not be included when enumerating the country’s public workers.
“If we look at Article 132 of the Federal Constitution, these are all classified as civil servants,” he said.
“But in more developed countries, including our neighbours in the south (Singapore), they don’t classify these groups as civil servants,” he added.
He was responding to claims that Malaysia’s civil service now stood at 1.6 million-strong for a country of just over 30 million.
“If you remove these four sectors, the real administrative civil servants probably number at only 500,000,” he said.
He further asserted that many civil servants were overworked due to lack of manpower and access in some rural areas.