Penang to trim state civil service by 5pc in three years

Datuk Seri Farizan Darus says Penang will be cutting down the state’s 9,504 civil servants by about 475 posts in phases between 2019 and 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Datuk Seri Farizan Darus says Penang will be cutting down the state’s 9,504 civil servants by about 475 posts in phases between 2019 and 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, May 13 ― Penang will downsize its civil service by five per cent in the next three years in line with the federal government’s rationalisation exercise, state secretary Datuk Seri Farizan Darus announced today.

He said the state will be cutting down the state’s 9,504 civil servants by about 475 posts in phases between 2019 and 2021.

However, he reassured the public that this exercise will not involve retrenching existing civil servants but through various means, such as removing positions that have not been filled for two years.

“The government aim to reduce five per cent from the total in phases, such as by one per cent this year and two per cent respectively in 2020 and 2021,” he said in his speech at a civil service gathering with the Penang Chief Minister here.

He said other measures included outsourcing, alternative service delivery, privatisation, separation of statutory bodies, automation and prudent job placement based on current needs.

He said the rationalisation exercise is timely as the cost of doing business for the government in terms of preparation of emoluments for the civil service had increased significantly.

“Each year, promotions and increments have increased the administrative costs of the government,” he said.

He said the usage of information and  communication technology will be able to provide support for the rationalisation exercise by reducing dependence on human resources.

He then reminded the civil servants on the importance of integrity.

“In the previous gathering on January 8, I have reminded that we must not engage in abuse of power and yet, on the next day, a head of department was arrested for awarding a contract to his son,” he said.

He also mentioned the recent arrests of 24 Road Transport Department officers by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission.

“With the arrest of such a high number of officers, it will surely destroy the image of the government agency,” he said.

He revealed that there continued to be civil servants who had failed to perform and were referred to the disciplinary board for actions.

“As at April, a total 25 disciplinary cases were recorded and this involved unexplained absence from work, drugs, false medical certificate and others,” he said.

He said for the same period, a total 16 civil servants were fired due to disciplinary issues.

Meanwhile, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state has fulfilled 48 of its 68 election manifesto promises with 11 more in the works, 10 in planning stage and four pending approvals by the federal government.

“For the remaining four years of this term, the state government will ensure the completion of projects for the people in all aspects that included housing, infrastructure, transport, tourism, telecommunications, industries and the social-economy of the people,” he said.

He also announced a half-month special bonus or a minimum of RM1,000 each for all 3,905 civil servants attached to state agencies.

He said a total RM5.27 million was allocated for the bonus payout.