The Cost of Manja

The civil service bill

The civil service bill

In moving Malaysia forward not only into the newly developed nation status but a high middle income nation, the rakyat must do their bit together with enthusiasm and not leave everything to the Government to realise, execute and bear the cost.

The Malaysian Government under Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak laid out a target to be a high economy nation with the people able to obtain high income, which should be realised with one of many strategies is the rationalisation of subsidies.

The fundamental philosophy of a ‘Government’ is ‘To provide the things and services that people cannot provide for themselves’.

Let us Malaysians take a close look at that. Do we provide and do things ourselves and minimise the burden to the Government?

As  a general rule, Malaysians don’t. They prefer other people to do these things for them. Conveniently, the Government. Anything and everything, even the petty of things in their daily life, they blame and put the responsibility on Government.

Example like the power consumerism. If there are errant traders who do profiteering, can the consumers do anything about it if they feel they have been bullied or treated unjustly?

Oh yes they can! They can boycott such traders. Even the cartel, if the community which felt unjust.

But do they do that? No. Usually they do nothing but complain. They conveniently  put the burden on Government, to act for them.

“Government should……” is one the most widely used phrase amongst Malaysians all walk of life.

Many of rulings and directives have to be ‘enforced’, which means enforcement officers have to assigned. A quick example is ‘meter maid’ by municipalities and local authorities, to enforce parking rules are observed.

This cost could otherwise be minimised if the people in their earnestness abide by rules without much supervision.

Taken that some essential services involving security such as like military, police, prisons, immigration, coast guard etc. have to be provided and manned by civil servants. However, sort which could be automated with the advancement of technology such as administrative is actually growing.

The work demand partly created by service required or expected to be delivered by the Malaysian public actually saw the civil service growth, both horizontally and vertically. Some ministries even provide three Deputy Secretary General positions, with corresponding Divisional Secretaries and Directors.

This is why the civil service is so enormous. 1.6mil people are employed on behalf of the Government to serve cogs and gears of the nation. Inadvertently, this is why to pay for the civil service cost the Malaysian taxpayers RM93 bil or 35.8% of annual Federal Government budget.

That alone is 78.8% chunk off the revenue collected by Inland Revenue Board of RM118 bil.

This is up and above bills that the Federal Government are already paying (at almost 100%) for the comfort of the rakyat, which is health and education.

The left over from direct taxes collected by IRB in the form of income tax and other taxes is RM25 bil, which is supposed to pay for other expenditures.

High operating expenditures such as paying emoluments and pensions for the civil service also means that lesser could be invested in socio-economic development capital expenditures.

The present ratio of 1 civil servant to less than 20 Malaysians is a little too high. This is even higher ratio than pre-corporatisation and privatisation of services like electricity, water, telecommunications, postal and other services.

Realistically, high civil service bill in annual budget is not a good indicator that the nation had moved forward as a newly developed nation. The economy may qualify to be in the cohort.

However, the attitude of the people is pointing towards that they are not quite independently developed.

Published in: on February 1, 2017 at 22:00  Comments (14)  

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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Is it true that the best things in life are free, Zakhir?

    Would blockchain technology help change the situation for the better?
    Maybe Malaysia can learn from Tunisia or Bangladesh or go to Mainland China or go to Mexico and try to conquer the Trump Wall!? Or be like the refugees in Europe?

    A New Malaysia!, say all the Sultans, KMs, CMs and a Christian PM?
    :)) :)))

  2. Are you suggesting that the BN government retrench more civil servants who are not voting for them along with other just as BN friendly measures, Zakhir?

    Hopefully, Lim Kit Siang will also know how to do it better when Mahathir is too busy giving his talks in Sungai Buloh prison.

    The strongest survive is the Trump concept, isn’t it?

  3. BD,
    What can I say? You’ve eventually dragged the white elephant out, which have been pulling wools under our eyes.
    Yes, the civil service is humongous. The ratio is unbelievable and its pointing us as a nation a few decades backwards. One civil servant of twenty Malaysians? Perhaps, in George VI’s times. In Ceylon!
    I dunno where to begin. Probably the PTD, a ‘member get member scheme’ amongst the civil servants. Its a private club of the below averages and they are very strict who they allow to get in. Of course when one is initiated, one is taken care really well by the ‘PTD SYSTEM’. Like time scale promotion, opportunities to do post grad abroad (with a real long space extension allowed) and last but not least, job security.
    Professionals in private sector and MNCs are measured not only for their performance, but impact on the organisation. Of course, all will relate to bottomline.
    When PTDs chinwag amongst themselves, they talk about their promotion, when will Proton deliver there Perdana staff car and bitching about that post in the past was issued a Volvo instead.
    I really wonder if these flock of PTDs really have it within themselves the drive if not audicity to see the GDP go on a stready trending rise and at the same time, bloody care about the hardship of rakyat facing urban poverty, youth struggling to start in a galloping cost of urban living, spiralling viscious cycle of single parent issues, stagmant kampungs and the really boondoocks of Borneo!
    They are the Executive supposedly trusted implementors. Stories we hear about their lacklustre, recklessness and attitude are really ghastly.
    And off late, we are being presented with a continued endless assortment of civil servants which include PTDs, robbing the rakyat from the acts of CBT, graft and prolonged exercise which involved immediate family.
    I look at my father as a proud PTD man, with an illustrious career in the times the nation didnt have much and once we lived in Residence where they were Field Force Police detached in the compound.
    He took pride of the things he achieved, without taking what is not his to feed us and put us through school.
    He was unable to attend my convocation because he couldnt get approval to travel abroad in time. Thats how disciplined they were!
    God help us!

    • Thank you.

      Interesting observation.

      We must agree the present quality of civil servants, even the senior ones are not quite up to what they were used to be in your father’s time.

      The civil servants today should be at par with those who are in the private sector. They very least their ability to communicate and engage, with growing demands of Malaysia becoming more and more prominent in global economy.

  4. Do you think it is better for Najib&Co to have a non violent putsch followed by a strong purge or soft purge followed by a putsch, Zakhir?

    Which is an Erdogan and which is an Al-Assad?

    Do you think Najib is smarter than Digong Duterte, Zakhir?

    Then how about have outsourcing of corporatized functions of many ministries?

    Before you can chop off the heads you must have a clear head counts, don’t you think, Zakhir? Better a putsch and then a purge, IMHO.

  5. It’s quite appalling when the case about civil service, particularly the current benefits and opportunities being opened up for them.

    They get pay almost equivalent in the private sector with job security and life long benefits such as first class hospitalization.

    They usually don’t have bottomline to benchmark against and their ascension on the career path ladder is almost certain through time scale order.

    And yet of late we see so many of them involved in CBT, graft, embezzlement and some fraudulent exercises. This is pure greed and evil!

    • Thank you.

      The number of cases surfacing in white collar crimes involving graft is rather alarming. Considering the civil servants involved are receiving good monthly benefit as they are.

      That is only on cases arrested and highlighted by media. How about those who abuse their position and facilities for personal benefits?

      These ‘Little Napoleans’ mini empires got to be checked.

      Lets hope the politicians are tough enough to team up with the public, to check on this.

  6. Some really frightening figures there. RM93b is effectively 225% of GST collected, which consumption tax from the pockets of ordinary people.

    38% of Bajet is spend on civil servants’ pay and pension. This is hard cash from Govt coffer spent.

    What is the return?

    Even if these 1.6m civil servants bring in 10% productivity measurable in revenue to Govt annually, that would be additional RM12b in income tax and RM4b in GST.

    How could they do that? They could provide efficiency in revenue collection and data mining.

    The very least, the civil servants could do more in awareness and consciousness to make the rakyat understand their duty.

    If more work these civil servants do to improve consciousness, then it is reflective in the increased attitude and eventually of the rakyat.

    Many social illness, which include smugling could be reduced.

    Our leaders often chant “We can provide first world facilities but the public must get out of the third world mentality”.

    Its the duty of civil servants to alleviate Malaysians to correspond with first world mentality.

    So far, they fail miserably. And spending RM93b to sustain them annually is undoubtedly sinful!

    • Thank you,

      A very interesting observation.

      We do wonder ourselves about productivity and ROI brought upon by the civil servants.

      In the private sector, many organisation esp the MNCs do very tight performance management and bottomline impact on company or even group.

      Otherwise, for senior posts, no renewal of contract of employment.

      However, the civil servants have absolute job security. Even when they do wrong, there is a bureaucratic process to apprehend. And penalties are very lame.

      Many of the opinion that civil servants could simply ignore Govt policies and nothing would happen to them.

  7. So should Najib, in tandem with actualising his TN50, initiate a test for all civil servants now and later for hopeful wannabes base strictly on the civil servant entry test in the PRChina? Would he dare terminate those who fail?

    It seems the UK did adopt that China approach. What about Japan? When will Najib do it?

    Interesting to note the figure for UK and Indonesia, eh, Zakhir.

    • Mike

      Why are still arguing najub should this and that?

      Its synonymous with tingkat mentality to expect and burden the ever loss making Mahathir.

      Ask what you can do for the country and not what the country can do for you!!!!

      • Mike

        Why are still arguing najub should this and that?

        Its synonymous with tingkat mentality to expect and burden the ever loss making Mahathir.

        Ask what you can do for the country and not what the country can do for you!!!!

      • Correction:


      • Sue read again.
        I thot I asked Zakhir.

        Najib does whatever he pretty well want – do you know what that is?

        Or are you a Najib wannabe?
        Go ahead, it is a free country.

        Can you really think o sue?

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