My statement on civil service was twisted, says Ramasamy

(The Star) – The statement about the civil service being dominated by one race has been misinterpreted by several Pakatan Harapan politicians, says Penang Deputy Chief Minister P. Ramasamy (pic).

“Publicity-seeking politicians in some Pakatan Harapan component parties have sought to reinterpret the second-hand news in the media to give a racial slant to my argument for reform in the civil service.

“My post has been twisted and re-twisted, allowing cheap publicity seeking politicians to engage in race-baiting.

“I wanted reforms in the public service as suggested earlier by the Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg. My post on the need for reforms in the civil service is something that I have talked about in the past,” he added.

Ramasamy, who is also Penang DAP vice-chairman, then said that his views on the civil service are his own opinion and do not reflect the stand of his party or its leaders.

“My proposal for reform is in the spirit of bringing about meaningful changes to the practice of governance,” he said.

DAP has since been urged to sack Ramasamy as the Deputy Chief Minister over his remarks, which have been seen as a liability to the unity government.

Parti Amanah Negara’s Hulu Langat MP Mohd Sany Hamzan called for DAP to give Ramasamy the boot as it was not the first time that his statement has put Pakatan in hot water.

“For me, such a statement should not come out of a citizen of this country if they want to preserve the harmony between races. I’m confident that DAP will be pressured with such a statement and the party must do something because this is not his first statement that has troubled DAP,” he said.

Similarly, former education minister Dr Maszlee Malik said Ramasamy has become the biggest liability to the unity government.

“DAP should do something to discipline him before it’s too late,” he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the government will not take into consideration the call for reform in the civil service.

He said this was because the government did not view the matter as an issue.

“We have not opened channels for us to consider (the call) because I do not think it is a problem now,” he said, responding to Ramasamy’s statement.

Anwar said the proposal was only Ramasamy’s personal opinion and did not reflect that of DAP or the government.

“We should not stop people from speaking, giving opinions. He can give his views, but they will have no bearing on DAP or the government’s decision,” he said.

On Friday (Feb 10), Ramasamy in a Facebook post said that the Malaysian civil service is not only bloated in terms of the number of employed, but also consists of one ethnic group, predominantly the Malays.

He said the domination of the civil service by one ethnic community needs to be addressed by the new unity government of Anwar.

Ramasamy added that the new leadership under the concept of Masyarakat Madani cannot merely provide lip service to the one-sided nature of the civil service.