Friday, May 25, 2007

Civil Service Excellence III

Finally, I'm getting to the press conference which I conducted this morning ;). It was well attended by the print media, and Malaysiakini has got their reports up in English here, and in Chinese here, already. So there should be some coverage in the Chinese papers tonight, as well as possibly the English and Malay press tomorrow.

Below is my 2-page statement in full, so that you can understand the overall context of my response. Understandably, most newspapers won't give you all the space and will only take quotes, which may inadvertently slant the reports. ;)

No Apology For Stating The Facts - Challenge Khairy Jamaluddin To A Public Debate Seeking Truth From Fact Towards "Civil Service Excellence: Quality Vs Quantity" In The Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall On Wednesday 8 pm 30 May 2007.

In my statement dated 22nd May 2007 entitled “Record Pay Rise Solves Only Part of the Civil Service Problem”, I called on the Government to take the “painful but very important step of trimming the civil service sector into a leaner and more efficient 'machine'”.

UMNO Youth Deputy Chief, Khairy Jamaluddin issued a statement published in the Star, Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian yesterday took issue with my comment that the bulging and unwieldy civil service was partly caused by the Government's policy to absorb unemployed graduates. This has resulted in the civil service becoming a “dumping ground” for unemployed graduates. These graduates are also a “politically sensitive constituency” as an large majority of them are Malays.

Khairy claimed that my comments “were totally unacceptable and without basis” and hence sought an apology from the Party and myself.

However, as my previous statement was completely based on facts and figures provided by the government, we see absolutely no necessity to make any apology to the UMNO Deputy Youth Chief. This position is concurred by DAP Secretary-General Sdr Lim Guan Eng based on the following facts:-
  1. On 12 July 2006, the Star reported that “The Public Services Department (PSD) and Public Services Commission have been urged to speed up the recruitment of graduates to fill some 30,000 vacancies in the civil service. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that this would overcome the problem of unemployed graduates.”

  2. An EPU study on graduate unemployment conducted in September 2005 estimated that out of the unemployed pool of some 60,000 graduates then, some 70% or more were bumiputeras. This was also confirmed in the same Star article above, by the Deputy Prime Minister himself.
Hence, I'm unable to understand how the comment I made was without basis. He claimed that my “comments about the civil service can cause considerable damage to the morale and image of the public sector.”

Instead, I'd like to put forth instead that the Government's policy of absorbing these unemployed graduates, by acting as an employer of the last resort, is one of the reasons for considerable damage to the morale of the existing and senior civil servants, as well as the image of the public sector.

Criticising such a short-sighted policy of taking in unemployed graduates is also not akin to rubbishing the entire civil service as unemployable or of poor quality.

Therefore no apology shall be forthcoming for stating the facts and challenge Khairy to seek truth from facts with a public debate on "Civil Service Excellence - Quality Vs Quantity" on Wednesday 8pm 30 May in the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall or at any place and time of his choosing.

Constructive criticism of Government policy towards the Civil Service is neither a racial issue nor an insult to civil servants.

In addition, Khairy should also read the entire statement to put my comments into context.
  1. We fully support the pay increment for the civil service. In fact, the DAP leaders have made our stand known repeatedly in the past the it was an absolute travesty that the basic wage our lowest ranking civil servants of RM481 are well below the Malaysian poverty line of RM691. Even the lowest ranking constable in our Royal Malaysian Police Force was only RM690 previously.

  2. At the same time, I lamented on the fact that despite the massive and many privatisation exercises conducted throughout the past 2 decades, of which a leaner and more efficient civil service of approximately 500,000 personnel was one of its key objectives, today the number of personnel exceeds more than double that target. This is one of the major failure of the Malaysian privatisation campaign for not reducing the heaving burden of the Government.

  3. At the same time, we emphasised the fact that the record increase in pay will be “a waste of public funds, if the move is not accompanied by a corresponding increase in civil service productivity”. The weaknesses in the civil service can be seen on a daily basis, and certainly needs no lengthy elaboration.

    The unacceptable large building cracks in brand new government buildings as well as highways, the embarrassing leakages on the newly and expensively renovated Parliament as well as the Jalan Duta mega-court complex as well as the poorly negotiated highway contracts are just the tip of the iceberg of an faltering Public Works Department (PWD).

    Complaints made by foreign investors on the bureaucratic investment climate in Malaysia is one of the key causes for a foreign direct investment decline of 45.6% from US$7.3 billion in 1996 to US$3.97 billion 10 years later in 2005. As put forward by Vince Leusner, the president of the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce, "the Malaysian government can do a better job in making regulations less imposing to businesses.” An example of the red tape, foreign investors claim that it can take half a year to get a work permit, compared with less than a week in Singapore.

    Singapore, on the other hand, more than doubled their foreign direct investment from US$9.7 billion to US$20.1 billion over the same period. To quote Asian Strategy Leadership Institute director Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said Malaysia cannot be too protective in the world of rapid globalisation. "The world does not owe us a living and we have to struggle to improve at a faster pace or be left behind."
Instead of challenging the Party and myself for an apology and for the benefit of the future of Malays and all other Malaysians, Khairy should do away with emotive arguments as well as semantics, and focus on the issues at hand, that is:
  1. How to prevent our education system from churning out graduates who are unable to gain employment which befit their qualifications despite the large number of advertised vacancies in the market;

  2. How to improve our civil service delivery system to substantially increase the satisfaction of the rakyat and the successful completion of government projects; as well as

  3. How to streamline a bloated civil service, disproportionate to the size of the Malaysian population to reduce the tremendous economic burden of the Government, where all things equal, the budget deficit is expected to increase from the projected 3.4% to a much higher 4.1% caused by the pay increase.
In line with the above, I'd like to issue an open challenge and invitation to the UMNO Deputy Youth Chief to a reasoned, collected and rational debate next Wednesday, 30th May 2007, 8 pm at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. At the same time, we'll be inviting a panel of distinguished speakers who will share their views on the above questions.

In conclusion, I'd like to reiterate that my earlier statement was issued on the basis of facts and statistics provided by the Government itself. Hence, Khairy's call for an apology fails the address the issues highlighted by my statement, is totally unacceptable and without basis.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Welly said and defended. Let us wait for KJ the Mat Rempit's round 2. I strongly believe he will chicken and ask AAB to tell everyone to stop arguing publicly.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone confirm KJ was graduated from Oxford & not Bodohford?

Anonymous said...

KJ is just a chicken. TP step forward to rebute KJ's arguments within a day, because TP depends on facts and figures. Unlike KJ, he only thinks about lifting his own profile without substantial backup (maybe except his father in law). Let's see how long KJ will take. If we do not see anything by tomorrow, he is indeed a loser.

Anonymous said...

I bet the reports on newspaper tomorrow will be biased.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,

Although you have the facts and figures with you, please be careful with the UMNO culture of blackmailing the opponent ! This is a strategies repetitively used by UMNO to attack oposition party especially DAP. Frankly speaking, Khairy had intelligently used this issue and he is again become the HERO of Malay community and i think your previous statement were used by them to create more unhappiness among the malay. Please remember they control the media and they can just twist and turn your statement

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:13 AM has a point. Please be careful when you and your family is outside. i would suggest you remove your family's photo to prevent any unwanted incident. This Mat Rempit will do anything to lift his own profile because he thinks all Malays are stupid.

Daily Nibbler said...

And I thought the public has became jaded and public apathy had prevailed. Until you voiced your opinion.

Good counter salvo. You have up the ante. Lets see how the other side respond.

Looks like its a political battle between two future leaders of this country to capture the hearts and minds of Malaysian which is healthy and heartwarming - we have the process of renewal in the making. Singapore must have wished that you crossed them at the other side and join their ranks of future leaders but alas, you chose your battle ground in your mother land, Malaysia.

May the person who makes most sense capture the hearts and minds of the public.

Anonymous said...

Tony, you have done the right thing.Remember truth will always prevail.Syabas! continue your good work!

Anonymous said...

tony, awak cukup hebat.Apa yang tidak betul, dedahkan.jangan takut.Tahniah dan syabas!

Anonymous said...

As expected by Anon 11:21 PM

He chickened!! Read the news in theStar or other major newspaper!!

TP you won the battle!!!

Anonymous said...

CONFIRMED! KJ is just a CHICKEN. He dare not debate with Tony Pua and try to find excuse. Shame to you, KJ

___________________________________
THE STAR
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/5/26/nation/17846226&sec=nation

Khairy misread statement on civil service, says Pua

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP’s economic adviser Tony Pua said his statement on the civil service had been misconstrued by Khairy Jamaluddin and he challenged the Umno Youth deputy chief to a debate on May 30.

Pua said he was issuing an open challenge to Khairy to participate at the public debate on “Civil Service Excellence – Quality Vs Quantity” to be held at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, “or at any place and time of his choosing.”

However, in an immediate response, Khairy said that he would not entertain Pua's challenge to a debate, adding that it was an attempt by the Opposition to divert the subject to something else.

Speaking to reporters at the DAP headquarters yesterday, Pua said that neither he nor his party would apologise, as his (Pua) statement was based on facts and statistics provided by the Government itself.

To counter Khairy's accusation that what he had said was “totally unacceptable and without basis,” Pua cited a newspaper report from last year in which the Public Services Department and Public Services Commission were asked to speed up recruitment of graduates to fill some 30,000 vacancies in the civil service, which would overcome the problem of unemployed graduates. Another was an EPU study on graduate unemployment in Sept 2005 that estimated 70% or more of the unemployed pool of 60,000 graduates then was bumiputra.

When contact, Khairy dismissed Pua's challenge.

“It is not about me or about debating the issues he has laid forward. He has made a statement that is degrading to the civil service which has irked many, such as the Cuepacs leader,” he said, maintaining his stand that Pua and the DAP ought to apologise.

Anonymous said...

TP!!

YOU WON!!HE IS SCARED!!

CONGRATS!!

HE BACKED OUT!!

LONG LIVE TP!!

LETS GO TO COFFEE BEAN TONITE TO CELEBRATE!! YOU OR DAP BLANJA!

Anonymous said...

KJ is a copy of Anwar but he does not have the original stomach and tenacity. He crumbles easily. Much as Najib is no semblance of his father and Hissamuddin, does not have the integrity of his father/grandfather.

Anonymous said...

Poc poc poc poc poc...

123 said...

Kudos to Mr. Pua!

Racism in Malaysia said...

This reminds me of the cowardice of Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy in the 50s, trying to avoid confrontation with the great Edward Murrow :-0

Anonymous said...

If Tony Pua debate with KJ sure TP will beat KJ with his super powerful khram!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
adriene said...

all the best tony. you have my support in this.

Anonymous said...

Well done Tony! Khairy Jamaluddin is indeed a chicken that always runs away when challenged. Now he is speechless. Anyway, we should also thank this chicken for making you more well-known in the country. My Chinese friends previously did not know who you are, now they do, and will support you and DAP in the coming GE. Keep up the good work to topple UMNO!

Anonymous said...

Since Khairy Jamaluddin is a loser in this episode, I suggest that he changes his name to Chicken Jamaluddin. LOL...

nstman said...

In the beginning there was Chicken George. Now we have Chicken Khairy, a poor cousin of Chicken Curry. Bravo Barisan, the party of cowards.

Anonymous said...

No...not chicken khairy but...Chicken Little.

Maybe KFC should use him as a mascot in view of the popularity he is bringing to chickens

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The greatly anticipated 'OXFORD VERSUS OXFORD' debate never materialised..

This proves that Oxford university does not produce consistent high standard academically qualified graduates. They still do produce substandard graduates

hehe

Anonymous said...

Khairy the Chicken. Don't you people realise that it sounded like Curry Chicken? Yum yum....

It's a shame for a man to chickened and hide behind his wife.

Cowford said...

/// Anonymous said...
Can anyone confirm KJ was graduated from Oxford & not Bodohford?
11:48 PM ///

Now, he graduated from Kerbauford.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Curry Fra-vver said...

Ask Khairy to apologise for weidling the Kris first.

Ask Khairy to apologise in making racially discriminating statements that Bumis need the Bumi policy to get them ahead. He is looking down on and demoralising the Bumis with this kind of statement. The Bumis are as good as any race on earth. Why must Kahiry and UMNO demote them until like this? Give due recognition to the Bumis. They are good and capable as everyone else. Stop racial discrimination and crippling policies against the Bumis by Khairy and UMNO!

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:43 PM

Yea, like curry chicken. But only got the look and cannot be eaten at all. I have to consider twice even if it is for my dog.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Oxford Uni is getting alot of attention in Malaysian politics...btw, where are the intellectuals from Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford, MIT??? I know alot of you smart Malays and Chinese and Indians who graduated from there..Malaysia needs people like you to take the country forward.

KJ, other than using the racial card to gain popularity within the Malay community, he should learn to back up his arguments with facts and figures. Malaysia would regress should KJ take on a leadership role within the Malaysian Government..

Anonymous said...

This anon1:14am still have the mentality that these grads are superior. Well you mention KJ but so is TP. You must be from UTAR always like to otar (bullshit) and putar (twist)your way. No you have no credibilty.