Cuepacs slams Seputeh MP over criticism of racial imbalance in civil service

KUALA LUMPUR: The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public Service (Cuepacs) has slammed Seputeh member of parliament Teresa Kok, claiming that she was trying to “politicise” the civil service by raising the issue of racial imbalance within the sector.

Cuepacs president Datuk Adnan Mat said the accusations over race-based policies in the recruitment and promotion of civil servants were “serious and unfounded”.

He said the public service had never set race as a determining factor in the hiring or promotion of civil servants.

“Cuepacs insists that the recruitment and appointment of staff in the public service are done based on the merit and competence of candidates without involving any quota, as set by the Public Services Commission.

“The commission has never stipulated that the recruitment of public service personnel must meet any quota, including those involving religions, race, ethnicities or states,” he said in a statement today.

He was responding to Kok’s claim that appointments in the public service were not balanced according to race.

Kok was quoted as saying that the public service had been dominated by Malays since the introduction of the New Economic Policy in 1970.

She said race should not be a determining factor in hiring or promoting civil servants.

Her statement followed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Latiff Ahmad’s written parliamentary reply that 90 per cent of the 1.2 million civil servants are Bumiputera.

Kok said there has to be political will from the government to attract more non-Bumis to join the public service.

Adnan said participation in public service depends on the individual’s choice, interests and inclinations.

“Without applying through the commission, how can an individual join the public service or be seen as interested in serving the country and the people?”

“The response from non-Bumiputera in the public service is less than encouraging because the pay is regarded as lower than that in private companies or business.”

“Those who join the civil service, especially in the security and defence sector, mostly do so because of their love for the country.”

He said this was also why civil servants abstained from politics and devoted their services to everyone regardless of race.

“We have never seen civil servants neglecting the nation in providing services. In fact, civil servants are also the first on the frontlines helping people in the event of a disaster or emergency.”

Kok said that the low salary structure and a widespread perception of unequal chances in recruitment and career advancement led to a disinclination among potential non-Bumi recruits.

Adnan said this was inaccurate and was a phenomenon affecting all civil servants regardless of race.

He claimed that Kok, when she was primary industries minister during the Pakatan Harapan administration, made no effort to advise the government to raise the public service sector to an appropriate level.

“In fact, many civil servants were pressured with threats and had their contracts terminated.

“Friends of YB Seputeh are also urging the government to reduce the number of civil servants while describing all of us as a burden to the government,” he said, referring to opposition MPs’ previous questions on the need for so many civil servants.

Cuepacs, he said, urged all parties, especially politicians, not to use the public service for their own political interests.

“As civil servants, we adhere to the concept of neutrality and professionalism and respect the principle of division of powers to ensure that the rule of law can be maintained to uphold the Federal Constitution.”


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