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Malaysia to recruit more non-Malays into civil service
Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com
Source Date: Monday, August 30, 2010
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Malaysia
Created: Aug 30, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia is on a drive to recruit more non-Malays into the civil service.

This is in line with Prime Minister Najib Razak's 1Malaysia policy - to create a more inclusive government service which is currently dominated by ethnic Malays.

But not many young Malaysians are keen to work for the government.

Malaysia has a 1.3 million strong civil service, and it's dominated by ethnic Malays who constitute slightly half of the country's population.

Chinese, who make up about a quarter of the population, have traditionally steered clear of public sector jobs.

In fact, together with ethnic Indian minority, they make up less than 10 per cent of the civil workforce.

The government is hoping to correct the imbalance so that each race is well represented in the government service.

Koh Tsu Koon, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said: "The is in line with the 1Malaysia concept to be more inclusive, so we have to drive to be a inclusive government, a truly 1Malaysia government.

"There's a need to really get more talents from the Chinese and the Indian communities to join the government service, so as to enhance the representatives and inclusiveness of the government."

Dr Koh heads a special committee set up to attract more non-Malays into the service.

It holds seminars with schools, NGOs and the media to address some of negative perceptions about pay and career advancement in the civil service.

Still, many young Malaysians are unimpressed.

"There is an impression that the civil service is populated by those without ambition and those who can't do anything else," said Pang Khee Teik, Arts Programme Director of Annexe Gallery.

36-year-old Pang wanted to be a teacher but his parents talked him out of it.

He now runs an art gallery at the central market and occasionally writes and acts.

Civil service jobs come with perks such as subsidised loans for housing, hospitalisation, yearly bonuses and occasional handouts during festive celebrations.

But even that's not enough to attract some.

"My mother asked me to join and I said I don't think I will join civil servant. A lot of people are joining it because (they want) to be more comfortable - you don't have to worry about the risk of losing your job. If I join because of this, then it will be morally wrong," said Edry Faizal Eddy Yusof, a research fellow of the Islamic Renaisance Front.

While the number of non-Malay applicants have doubled over the year, the percentage is still very small in comparison.

Although the government does not set a quota for the intake, the chances for non-Malays getting the jobs are said to be very high. Of every 10 non-Malays who apply, at least 5 or 6 will be shortlisted and hired. - CNA /ls
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