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Are Indians happy with the ethnic quota and promotions in the Malaysian civil service? By M. Vivekananthan

Publish date: Mon, 15 Apr 2024, 07:32 PM

INDIANS stand at the crossroads of Malaysia’s political reality. Who and what caused the reduction of Indians within the civil service? Civil service jobs are among the highest aspirations of the Indian community.

Last year in the Dewan Rakyat, it was told that approximately 4.8% of close to 1.7 million officers and staff in the civil service were Indians. And this was based on staffing data based on warranted posts, excluding those in the army and police force. 

The Malaysian civil service is one of largest civil services in the world. With the total population of the country at 33 million, the civil service composition stands close to 1.7 million.

What are the government’s efforts to increase the recruitment and appointment of Indian candidates to 7% in line with the composition ratio of the Indian population in Malaysia?

Meanwhile, the unity government claimed that it has never neglected the welfare of the Indian community. Various programmes had been initiated to assist in the development of the community at large, so revealed Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In this respect, our dear PM must come to realisation that reforms are urgently needed for the civil service. The Madani government must have the courage and political will to implement the reforms, notably by rising the quota for the Indian community in the country’s civil service to 7%.

The unity government must step up efforts to ensure the increase in the proportion of Malaysian Indians in the civil service reaches a minimum level of 7% within the next three years.

At the same time, Malaysians want to know if currently there is no set allocation or quota based on race or ethnicity for appointments into all positions in the civil service.

Are all Malaysian citizens, regardless of race or ethnicity, have an equal opportunity to be considered in an open and fair competition?

Is the method of hiring officers into the public service by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and promotions of government officers done transparently based on the competency of the candidates?

It is “high time” to introduce a full merit system to attract more non-Malays especially the Indians and to enhance and the capacity and performance of the civil service.

The PM must immediately address the issue and ensure the public service reflects the ethnic composition of the country.

Reforming the civil service in Malaysia is long overdue. It is bloated and stands accused of inefficiency. Reforms must not be delayed anymore. - April 15, 2024

M. Vivekananthan has served the Malaysian government at various ministries and agencies for 30 years.

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