By Sharan Raj
THE ongoing public discussion on the high emoluments cost of the Federal Government, hence the need to trim the overall civil service size is totally unreasonable.
Arguments such as the ratio of civil servants to population are simply pointing fingers at the underpaid but over-worked civil servants while insulating the negative financial impact of political appointees.
It is estimated that thousands of political appointee positions were created by the UMNO-BN regime.
UMNO-BN had established many redundant agencies to create new positions for political appointees such as the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre (GreenTech), Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia (SEDA) and the Energy Commission (EC) for the electricity sector alone although EC alone could perform all the tasks.
These political appointees are given offices in high-end corporate areas such in KL Sentral and KLCC – something which is grossly unacceptable for government agencies when Putrajaya is still under-utilised.
Seriously, why is the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) headquarters based in the KLCC area when youths are unable to service their student loans due to the high unemployment rate?
On the contrary, political appointees are rewarded with salary, perks and benefits costing up to six-digit annually per individual just to attend ‘meetings’ for several hours a month.
In fact, the position of certain political appointees entitles them to stay in five-star hotels, fly premium class, or gain access to personal and utility allowances, among others.
Moreover, the family vacation of political appointees are masked as lawatan kerja which is funded directly from taxes paid by the Malaysian working class.
On top of that, these political appointees exert nepotism by dishing out over-bloated contracts and recommending jobs for their friends and families into government agencies.
There is dire need of more critical analysis by the think-tanks, academicians and economists when commenting on civil service cost as political appointees disproportionally siphon greater public resources without bringing any positive value. – March 25, 2021
Sharan Raj is a Central Committee member of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and State Secretary of PSM Melaka.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Photo credit: CGTN