Degrees and diplomas can improve the standard of service and ensure better salaries with less corruption, says MP Fuziah Salleh.
Statistics released by the government reveal that more than 500,000 of the 1.6 million civil servants in the country have SPM or lower qualifications.
The job requirement needs to be reviewed, said PKR MP Fuziah Salleh, who expressed hope that the government would hire only those with SPM, at the very least, in future.
“I mean no offence to the civil servants. But, generally, I would expect the majority of the posts (in the civil service) to be filled by degree holders.
“Employing degree holders or at least diploma holders can improve the level of service.”
While emphasising that she meant no disrespect to civil servants, Fuziah said she believed that by the time a person finished SPM, their education would prepare him to better embrace the values of the organisation and prime him for further training.
“Future development doesn’t necessarily mean enrolling in a university. Continuous human resource training will improve his aptitude as well as attitude.
“Even for clerical posts, we should strive to get degree holders. This is because the job of a clerk involves more than just typing letters; it involves higher order skills and thinking.
“Even cleaning can be a very respectable position if they do their work well, like the janitors in other countries who take their job seriously.”
Fuziah was responding to a written parliamentary reply issued on Wednesday by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman, who said the civil service employed 275,375 SPM certificate holders.
A total of 231,972 public servants have either PMR, PT3 or UPSR.
“Another 35,572 civil servants are STPM holders, while 191,842 have diplomas,” said Azalina to a question posed by Fuziah, who is Kuantan MP.
Fuziah told FMT her recommendation to the government was not aimed only at improving the civil service but also to stress the importance of education.
“I urge the education ministry to try retain students in the education system until SPM at least.
“The ministry should discourage students from dropping out of school after Form 3.
“If they have degrees, we can put in place a better salary system so that they can enjoy a better quality of life.”
Fuziah said better salaries could be an incentive for civil servants to reject corruption.
Earlier this week, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) revealed that 54% of civil servants found guilty of corruption were under the age of 40.
According to MACC deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Shamsun Baharin Mohd Jamil, younger civil servants were more susceptible to corruption to meet their lifestyle demands.
“We have cases where junior government officers and clerks can afford to buy the latest iPhone models and drive expensive cars.
“Their flashy lifestyle does not match their measly pay as young officers and administrative assistants on the government pay scale,” New Straits Times reported Baharin as saying at a forum on Wednesday.