Thursday, June 7, 2012

‘Huge gap’ worries PSC

MAHMOOD: ‘We need to find out why the other races seem reluctant to join the civil service’

THERE is a vast ethnic gap among the various races applying to serve in the public sector.

It was revealed that of the applications received, about 80 per cent of applicants were Malays, two per cent Chinese, two per cent Indians and 16 per cent others.

The Public Services Commission’s new chairman, Tan Sri Mahmood Adam, said the commission would conduct a study and an engagement exercise with the various ethnic groups to get down to the bottom of this abyssal chasm among the races who want to serve the country.

“We need to find out why the other races seem reluctant to join the civil service. Is it the pay? Is it our fault? Do they feel they have better options in the private sector or are the requirements too stringent?” he said.

Mahmood said there was an urgent need to “get to the bottom” of the matter as the gap was too big.

“I don’t want to create a ratio within the civil service but why is there such a big gap between the races?” he asked.

The breakdown, based on last year’s figures, showed that out of 1,123,692 million applicants nationwide 893,292 hopefuls were Malay, 23,547 were Chinese, 36,729 Indians and 170,124 others.

Of the figures, 28,367 Malays were successful in their applications, with 3,686 Chinese, 2,316 Indians and 2,441 others succeeding in securing jobs in the civil service. Mahmood’s main worry over this gap was the misperception that the public might have.

“We don’t want the rakyat to think that the civil service is biased towards the Malays.

We want to give equal opportunities and we select our candidates based on merit,” he said.

“However, when the talent pool from the Malays is around 80 per cent and the rest is around two per cent, inevitably we will select more from the Malays.”

He said he planned on engaging stakeholders and hold a nationwide roadshow to determine the reason behind such a large gap.

“We also need to know the expectations of the civil service. How we can better serve the public and make the civil service an attractive career path. We plan to speak to political parties, NGOs, community leaders and, of course, the press.”

At the same time, Mahmood said, the commission aimed to find out what civil servants themselves wanted or needed.

“We will engage them as well on their expectations and how we can improve,” he said.

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