Improving the Malaysian civil service

This is a piece of news from Bernama yesterday:

Applications for civil service employment to be filtered online

December 19, 2012
PUTRAJAYA, Dec 19 — Applications for civil service employment will be filtered online before eligible candidates are called to attend an examination and an interview beginning Jan 1 next year.Public Service Commission (PSC) chairman Tan Sri Mahmood Adam said with the new mechanism, the civil service employment confirmation could be shorten from three years to between one year and six months.

He said the filtration entailed 14 items, including the validity of the Malaysian citizenship and qualifications, criminal records searches and the status of financial position (whether a bankrupt or otherwise) which could be verified within a few hours.

“This is an innovative mechanism. Previously, the background filtration took three years before civil servants were confirmed in their jobs,” he told reporters after chairing a PSC meeting with ministries, departments and state administration here, today.

He said the mechanism proved effective for 24 applicants for the post of engineers in June received job offer letters immediately after their interviews were over.

“This shows a sense of urgency that we want to implement and we have asked all ministries and departments to announce job vacancies at their monthly meeting,” he said. — Bernama

I don’t get it. Does this mean all this while, there is a 3-year probation period for a newly joined civil servant to be confirmed in his post just because it takes 3 years for their human resource department to validate their academic qualifications, financial status, criminal records and other very easy to verify information?
Or, the civil service takes into their employment candidates without even getting their background checked?!
Either way, no wonder the civil service has a dreadful reputation.
It’s already 2012 and yet the civil service is hampered by a problem which should have been eradicated in the 80s. And only now the top bosses of the civil service thought about this solution?
This is why many people (I presume the intelligent ones) are turned off working in the public sector. The industry average for a probation is 6 months. During this short time, an employee is not entitled to a full benefits of their employment until they are confirmed to the job.
Imagine had to wait for 3 years just to get confirmed!
For all the hard work you put through for 36 months and yet you could not apply for a staff loan, full hospitalisation benefit, etc.
Civil service should have first-rate candidates entering their recruitment process. But this seems impossible since the recruitment process itself is a third-rate buffoonery.
But I am crying over spilt milk. Better late than never I suppose.
Merry Christmas everyone!