Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Ali Hamsa today urged critics to be fair when disputing the size of the Malaysian civil service. Pix by CHE RANI CHE DIN

KUCHING: Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Ali Hamsa today urged critics to be fair when disputing the size of the Malaysian civil service.

Ali disagreed with claims which suggested that the country has a bloated civil service of 1.6 million.

Reiterating a statement recently issued by the Public Service Department director-general Datuk Seri Zainal Rahim Seman, Ali said the figures included healthcare professionals, teachers, police and membera of the armed forces.

“Unlike in Malaysia, some countries does not include figures of the workforce in local authorities and other critical industries including teachers.

“We have more than 500,000 teachers in the country and this figure is included when we measure the size of our civil service. Malaysia has the right size in term of its civil service workforce.

“Having that said, we have to be fair before telling others that our civil service is bloated,” he told reporters here today.

It was reported that Zainal said the country only has 682,790 civil servants should Malaysia adopt the same calculation being used by other countries, which excluded healthcare professionals, teachers, police and the armed forces.

On other matters, Ali said talks over devolution of powers over Sarawak, which have entered the the next phase, is progressing accordingly.

He said the Federal and the state government were working towards drafting a formula that will benefit both parties, especially the people of Sarawak.

“It is an ongoing process. And as far as Sarawak is concerned, the state has been making a lot of achievements (in the first stage of the negotiation),” he said.

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