Speech (Part II) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Asemblyman for Penang on Sunday, Sept.14, 1986 at the DAP Introduction Ceremony for 400 new members at Anson road, Penang at 3 pm.
When Malaysian government has to start talking about retrenching government servants, it should start retrenching Ministers and deputy Ministers first
Energy, telecommunications and posts Minister, Datuk Leo Moggie, told civil servants yesterday not to take it for granted that they could not be retrenched.
Datuk Leo Moggie said the time had come for countries like Malaysia to examine the question of retrenchment in the civil service, because of the large number of public employees, especially in the light of the country’s economic position.
I will agree with Datuk Moggie if we reach the position where even the government is facing bankruptcy, then nothing becomes sacred, and we must think not only of retrenching civil servants, but also retrenching Ministers and deputy Ministers.
In fact, when the government has to start thinking about retrenching government servants, it should have started retrenching Ministers and deputy Ministers who have proved disastrous failures to bring Malaysia to such dire economic and financial straits!
But have we reached such dire economic and financial straits that we must begin to think and talk seriously about retrenching civil servants?
The picture Datuk Moggie paints is one of Malaysia on the threshold of economic ruination. He may be right, but if so, why is it the prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and finance Minister are trying to give a completely different picture?
Datuk Moggie will be guilty of strong-armed tactics if he raises the specter of retrenchment of civil servants, not because we have reached the threshold of economic ruination, but to browbeat, bully and force accept privatization of telecoms and join Syarikat Telecoms Malaysia Sdn. Bhd 30,000 Telecom employees to.
Datuk moggie should not use strong-armed tactics to force Telecoms employees from opting to continue in government service, since the Minister had repeatedly said in Parliament and outside that the Telecome employees would have the choice to join Syarikat Telecom Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. Or remain in government service.
Government warned not to regard privatization is the panacea for all ills.
Datuk Moggie and the Government must be warned not to take for granted that privatization is the panacea for all ills. Indeed, the government has not satisfied large sections of the Malaysian public why Telecomes should be privatized when it is a revenue-earning source, and whether public interest will not be better served when it is run as an efficient corporation.
Malaysians have recently seen so many examples where greed and graft had led to the public interests being sacrificed by a few. The collapse of one-time high flyers like the first Malaysian Sogososha, MOIC, the private airline Macair; Co-operatives; Pan EL; MPH; Promet should be a strong reminder that privatisation may just end up as ‘piratisation’
DAP calls for an entire review of the whole concept and direction of privatisation by an Independent panel of eminent Malaysian, before we turn public-service departments and institutions into another MOIC or MacAir or Pan El.