Education / Entertainment / Miscellaneous

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!

52 thoughts on “Improving the Malaysian civil service

  1. Pingback: Improving the Malaysian civil service | alatiffh's Blog

  2. Government deliberating on time based promotion, what kind of system is this??
    It’s a system where you will have donkeys get promoted…!!!


    • It doesn’t say anything about promotion there. It is an issue about confirmation to the job for new employees. Please read it properly before you erroneously jump into conclusion. Thank you.


    • The Americans have such advanced technology that they can tell whether the dust collected near a explosion zone points to a nuclear test e.g by North Korea, etc.

      Or whether an individual who fidgets, scratches his nose with the right instead of the left finger, or looks people in the eye when talking, plus info concerning their blood type, etc, etc are likely to be the honest or dishonest type – other than the use of the lie detector.

      Wonder if they use such techniques in the recruitment, confirmation or promotion of their civil servants, and if so, how much those things account for the corruption index in their country.

      Any scientific methods used by the PSC or the PSD?


  3. The Civil Service was a hangover of the British Colonial Service. The time when it took weeks for a letter from the District Office in Klang to reach the Head Office in KL. It went by bullock cart, hehe! On terribly winding roads, Ghee Hins and Hai San thugs and gangsters menacing along the way. Anyone thought of how winding was the Old Klang Road, parts of which still exist to day? Merry Christmas with those thoughts!

    Yes, now nearly 150 years since the British started to rule in Malaya upon the Pangkor Treaty being signed in 1874 and their Civil Service system was first practised. But old habits die hard. After Merdeka, the speed of changes and action on files varied. There were stories of those who literally pee-ed in their pants when Tun Razak made unannounced project inspection trips. And stories of files misplaced (you might die before getting your housing project approval that required clearance from no less than 12 government departments/ agencies!), the peons whose jobs are to bring files from one Officer’s room to another always disappearing for endless coffee breaks, the Officers turning up in Office at 9 am, have coffee break in the canteen at 10 am, lunch 12-2 and leaving the office at 3 pm for golf. Until Tun Dr Mahathir made them “clock in and out”.

    But I support the practice of 3 years probation period. They say the “Gazetted Officers” (e.g MCS or now PTD Officers) once confirmed, it takes the Agong to sack them – they are “appointed by the Agong” and dismissal proceedings involves a rigmarole of letters informing them of their mistakes, warning letters and replies, then show-cause letters and replies, then this and that disciplinary committee to determine validity of action taken, then a tribunal hearing bla, bla, bla, and only after all those can they be dismissed. Note that the khalwating Director General of Health was only demoted, not dismissed.

    Therefore, they jolly well need to be observed thoroughly before they are confirmed. Not just work aptitude but personality defects, mental attitude, social habits – somewhat like Judges, to avoid, for example, those consorting with thugs and gangsters that recently even an ex-IGP has been accused of. Those spending beyond their means should be noted down, confirmed in service after an extended probation – only after mending their ways, otherwise weeded out. Especially when corruption has penetrated all levels of society.


      • Come on, Mister, changing a system that’s been entrenched in a society for hundreds, even just scores of years, is not as easy as changing your name to David. More on attitudes towards religion and name changing another time.

        But on the issue under discussion, a civil service system of a country involves rules and regulations, standard operating procedures of all sorts, administrative, financial and other procedures that have been encoded into inches-thick manuals of various kinds

        The communists tried changing the political and administrative systems of countries, look how much they suffered, until Russia and China have abandoned the state enterprise system, and have been adopting the free enterprise or capitalistic system (that have been completely anathema to the communist system) for decades now.

        Change must not be for change sake. That’s the Pakatan Rakyat’s balderdash.


        • China adopted communism in the mid 1940s and capitalism in the mid 1990s. We gained independence in the late 1950s but adopted mediocrity in the 1980s. Seems that name changing is easy even to Abdullah/David. And that is what we get caught up all the time and forget the issue. Have we been so ingrained that consciously we labelled each person by their name and forgot that he/she is a fellow human/ Malaysian? Could this (hiring/promoting by name) be the problem to the issue (improving civil service)? The issue is being Malaysian, hiring the most qualified Malaysian, promoting the most qualified Malaysian. Holding accounability and integrity as the benchmark.


          • The so-called Malaysians who do not accept and respect the Special Position of the Malays and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak are not genuine Malaysians.

            How can they be, when that Special Position is clearly spelt out in Article 153 of the Constitution? Not respecting that means not respecting the Constitution which was debated and approved in Parliament comprising the representatives of practically all the ethnic groups in the country.

            And not respecting and living by the Constitution implies a lack of loyalty to the country. For the Constitution is the basis of determining one’s loyalty to the country, nothing else and certainly not by shouting I love Malaysia a thousand times or using Malaysia as a blogging name like some uneducated blokes do, making light of the very name of this country.

            And how can so-called Malaysians with doubtful loyalty to the country be recruited to the top posts in the country? They’ll sell this country like Anwar Al Juburi is likely to do as he bad mouths Malaysia abroad, arranges foreign funds from Neocons, Jews and Zionists to errant Malaysian NGOs to disrupt peace and order in the country, supports the defence of the security of Israel even against the interests of his own bed partner, PAS.


          • Wat r u talk, mister? Saying “Have we been so ingrained that consciously we labelled each person by their name and forgot that he/she is a fellow human/ Malaysian? … Could this (hiring/promoting by name) be the problem to the issue (improving civil service)?” meaning what ha?

            You think since the time the NEP has produced enough well qualified Malays since decades ago, they are not “hiring the most qualified Malaysian, promoting the most qualified Malaysian”? Can you state the instances when it was not so – with verifiable sources of the information details that you may provide.

            You think the PR government in the states concerned are always “Holding accounability and integrity”? With Selangor Talamgate, DAP Penang selling state landgate, project sPICegate and Kelantan government bribing thousands of acres land to Perak DAP Nga and Ngeh for agreeing to PAS Nizar become MB Sekejap in 2008?


            • You seem to be an intelligent man. Tell me can a quota system ensure that the best person fill the job? Can the best student get to be a doctor, engineer, lawyer, etc?
              And why are corrupt state government getting away when the judiciary arm is functioning? Or is it because those that are currently the prosecutors and judges arent the most capable? And how were these produced?
              Look beyond the obvious and instead at the foundation. Meritocracy, hard work, and equal opportunity will ensure the best for the country. Hiding behind artificial shelter is lying to oneself.


            • Didn’t see your comment earlier, David.

              Your argument contains fallacies there, Mister. What makes you think that the best doesn’t exist among the quota people now? And who says that the best student is not the quota people? What is the yardstick you use to determine the best?

              And you cannot be making wild, unsubstantiated accusations like the Opposition people always do. You need to at least state which “corrupt state government”, corrupt on what grounds, who, when, where, how and why.

              All the talk on “Meritocracy, hard work, and equal opportunity” is the old Lee Kuan Yew, PAP, Lim Kit Siang and DAP line. You people don’t even realize that the quota system was thought out because of the very lack of “equal opportunity” for the Malays and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak.

              How can there be equal opportunity for the 80 years of British colonial rule where the Malays, who were mostly in the kampongs, had only 4 years of primary education and in schools far between one and the other such that the kampong boys had to walk 4-5 miles one way to school. Whereas in the towns, where most of the Chinese lived, there were ample schools, both for primary and secondary education, and also schools in English, the passport to success all those years.

              You say “Hiding behind artificial shelter is lying to oneself.” I say talking cock and bull makes a cockadoodledo.


              • Well said. Let’s look at some issues:
                1. you raised the issues of malpractices in opposition run states. Why are they not prosecuted? My answer – quota bred prosecutors and judges who are not able to convict them.
                2. quota never produce the best – Proton Saga !! Good only in Malaysia.
                3. meritocracy – In The Wealth Report 2012, a global study on property and wealth compiled by Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank, Singapore was listed as the world’s most affluent with a GDP per capita of US$56,532 (S$70,450) in 2010 and will probably remain the same until 2050.
                – NUS has risen three spots to 25 in the 2012/2013 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, from its 28th position last year.
                The reason of citing Singapore is that it started development the same time as Malaysia.
                I leave it to you to check what position is Malaysia in these two reports or maybe you don’t know how to do it?
                4. I manitain that “Hiding behind artificial shelter is lying to oneself” and my justification is people like you !
                You are a product of the quota system and can’t differentiate between helping the underpriviledge- build more facilities nearer to the kampungs if that is what it takes to level the playing field (which is what government is suppose to do) and equal opportunity using same yardstick for recruitment not by artificial quotas.
                You say one thing, “What makes you think that the best doesn’t exist among the quota people now?” but by continuing to hide behind the quota system your action betrays the truth or worst your fears. Are you living a lie? Do you tell your children that they are the best but hide from them that they are only being compared among their own kind? How do you feel if we say it to your face that you achieved what you are because you we given handicaps/ unfair advantages? Isn’t your victory a hollow one?


  4. “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?!..”

    Here is my take on this. When applicants receive job offers from the PSC and agreed to join the civil service, they will immediately appointed to the post on permanent basis, but they are yet to be confirmed. And they will be given 3 years probation period to ascertain whether they are suited to the job and right to the job. Those applicants would have the PSC breathing down their necks within that period. We are not talking about qualification here, because that aspect is already taken into consideration before they are appointed on permanent basis.
    It does not necessarily that each applicant has to complete full 3 years before they get to be confirmed but within that period they have to be confirmed in the service. After those 3 years, if they still are not qualified for confirmation, they will be given another year for trial before they will asked to leave the service.
    Those 3 years probation are not meant to validate academic qualifications like you said but rather to see the applicants are up to the standards sets by the PSC. They will be assessed via yearly performance reports by their superior, various tests and examinations running by the JPA which includes the psychological test, and the background check, the filtering process in order to find out whether the applicants have a link to the individuals or organizations which could compromise the secrecy and safety related to the conducts and affairs of the government. These can’t be done in short time frame. It is not a walk in the park. There have got to be some leeway for each item to be administered. The PSC have 3 years to find out of each applicants’ true color before they handed to them confirmation letters.
    The civil service are not profit oriented. You hire them not for marquee value but for performance and trustworthiness. The right man for the right job and everything else will fall into places.
    It is a sensible process. I wonder why they want to revamp them now.


    • Maybe I read wrongly, or maybe the Bernama report is badly written but the article clearly said the 3 years is due to validating citizenship and academic qualifications, etc. Thank you.


    • “they will immediately appointed to the post on permanent basis ..”

      Not correct. Not permanent until confirmed. After the probation period. That’s why called probation.

      Now changing probation period to 6 months to 1 year might result in people not having the right temperament permanently holding important positions in Government.

      Not easy to determine the square pegs in round holes. No machines yet invented to determine the temperament of human beings. Even with 3 years probation got some funny characters holding high positions. They may not reach the post of Secretary General of a Ministry but high enough to cause some damage to the Government image. For example, the always masam, grumpy type, don’t want rakyat to explain in person, always say “Awak tulis surat lah.”.


      • Quote: “…might result in people not having the right temperament permanently holding important positions in Government.”

        Unfortunately, that “not having the right temperament” includes incompletely taking note of a statement and then misinterpreting it. As Lafayett wrote : “When applicants receive job offers from the PSC and agreed to join the civil service, they will immediately appointed to the post on permanent basis, but they are yet to be confirmed. And they will be given 3 years probation period to ascertain whether they are suited to the job and right to the job. ”

        Nowhere did Lafayett imply that the appointment IS a confirmed permanent appointment right from day one. Every PSC offer letter for permanent appointment (Lantikan Tetap) implies that it is a permanent-basis appointment SUBJECT TO 1-year to 3-years of probational period within which, the appointee will or will not get a confirmation, subject to on his/her performance and attitude as well as passing pre-confirmation stages such as Tapisan Keselamatan (Security Screening), Service Examination, Induction, and some mandatory training courses depending on the particular position.


        • “incompletely taking note of a statement” – what got meaning, pray tell.

          Simple logic says when probationary and not confirmed, the job is not permanent. I’m told that the words normally used are “confirmed and placed on the permanent establishment”.

          But I’ll let others argue on “incompletely taking note of a statement” kind of comment.


          • “Simple logic says when probationary and not confirmed, the job is not permanent. I’m told that the words normally used are “confirmed and placed on the permanent establishment”..”

            In every appointment letter issued by PSC, it is clearly written as “LANTIKAN TETAP” which means permanent basis in English . If it is written as “LANTIKAN SECARA KONTRAK”, it would implies as contractual basis. Why don’t you just admit that you’re wrong?


            • If you can show proof or convince me, then I’ll accept it. Can reproduce copy of such a letter, like JMD did to the Bar Council letter in the previous post?


  5. Good that there are conscious efforts to improve the Civil Service. Among the frequently heard complaints in the past has been the existence of deadwoods, uncaring, even irresponsible, Officers and support staff. Of late, the number one complaint is against the corrupt buggers.

    Hence it’s so damn important to get the right kind of fellows into the Civil Service. Especially into the highest level of the Civil Service – the Perkhidmatan Tadbir and Diplomatik (PTD). Yes, the other services may feel slighted at this comment. But it’s a fact that since the British colonialist times, the then called Malayan Civil Service (MCS) now called PTD, has been the backbone and the prime mover of the overall civil service that also includes others like the professional services (Legal, Medical etc), down to the clerical service.

    It’s the PTD that receives instructions from the political masters through the Chief Secretary to the Government and the Secretaries General of all the Government Ministries. Nobody can deny this fact of history. Even older and advanced countries like Britain has that system. We, in fact, inherited the system from them.

    It’s therefore crucial that the recruitment system and procedures be correct. And it’s damn good that the Government has started the examinations system for entry into the PTD. The Chinese in mainland China has adopted this examination system for ages. Even so, their “Mandarins” have been embroiled in corruption for ages, too. Now the property developers (currently the biggest money makers in China) literally use professional poker players as conduits to passing lots of money to Government officials with approval powers.

    Let’s discuss the efforts of the Government as per reported and published in the post above – whether they will help reduce corruption and other ills among Officers. Note that such ills afflict not only Government Officers and not only in this country. Even advanced countries are not spared.


    • Examination on what, I wonder. Can anybody tell?

      Role and functions of government? Relationship between government servants and political masters? On policy implementation?


    • Not much proof corruption a lot by PTD. We read a lot corruption by Customs, Immigration (Director General, Deputy Director General arrested), – they are not PTD.

      A lot corruption by politicians. Harun Idris, Khir Toyo, Selangor MB. Anwar found guilty. Ling Liong Sik brought to court but charges did not stick?


  6. Yes, can the shortened probation period help reduce the ills of Government Officers as shown in the past? What are the objectives of shortening the probation period? To speed up the recruitment process? Is there a dire need to speedily increase the number of PTD Officers and others? The critical services like Medical Officers yes, but I don’t think so for the others.

    Remember the adage: put your work into the time, not the time into the work. And anyone knows if there is any foolproof – or even any – system for checking how much computer time is put into real work in offices these days?

    Corruption has been the major issue. The extent of which is really debatable. Remember that Transparency International ratings are based on perception – they call it Transparency Perception Index. A lot depends on who the respondents to TI surveys are. With the kind of Opposition we have in this country – always making wild allegations without substantiation – perception may go haywire. We have to be fair to our Civil Servants. And the political masters, too. Even so, there has been improvement on out TI ranking lately.

    But we cannot and must not condone corruption. We cannot use the excuse that corruption became rampant in China even over 2,000 years ago and may have been brought into this country by the immigrants. Started in a big scale by the so-called Consort Families – Emperors married commoners whose relatives started making use of the Consort’s position to amass wealth. And the series of lazy Emperors who didn’t spend the time to meet even their own Ministers and make inspection trips all over the country, resulting in the palace servants called eunuchs (their male tools literally cut off to ensure non disturbance of the Emperors’ hundreds of concubines) becoming influential, even powerful, in getting the Emperors’ approvals for the citizens.

    We don’t have that kind of history. We cannot hide behind the fact that big time corruption may have been brought to this country from China. Yes, the question is: can a short probation period reduce the potentially corrupt kind of blokes recruited into the Malayan Civil Service? If not, how to get non-corruptible ones?


  7. Even the top blue chip companies around the world don’t have this high level of screening. All that bull crap about selecting the finest, the best of the best, creme de la creme and whatever phrases human can conjure, we all know that all government servants and crap.

    Face this facts and we all can move on.

    3 years probation is just work done slow, or similar comparison is dog years. What can you do in 3 years nowadays?

    A 30 stories building can be completed in 3 years.
    MRT project also 3 years.
    You could get a degree, masters degree and Phd in 3 years or less.
    Civil servant validation check?

    We are living in the era where fibre optics are used for our home internet. Things are moving faster now. Please catch up.


      • Please substantiate this, on what basis do you determine I’m crap and opposition? Just because I called government servant crap? And just happen that you yourself is a government servant felt offended and call me crap in return. I could be your father, mother or even your boss.

        Are you saying if I support the Government I should lick their sweaty butt holes and enjoy it no matter how inefficient and wrong they are? You must be enjoying kissing butts all day long.

        There is no further substantiation need to be made, because if you take a look at the above article by JMD, that is the crap that we all are talking about. And if you are a truly Malaysian, you should know government services are no where excellent.

        If government services are the creme that you said, company like Myeg would gulung tikar yesterday. Companies like Myeg are taking advantages from the inefficiencies of government agency like JPJ and PDRM.

        Please tell me what certain categories of government servants that are the creme that you’re talking about? The one that you’re in it?


        • For the weekend entertainment, now rainy and drab atmosphere, I’ll layan you:

          1. Wo, I banyak takut la, you are my father, my mother and my boss. But I’m not even a Government servant, you lousy father and mother, not even knowing that. You better resign as a father and mother lorr. But you ultra kiasu will never resign from anything one, ha? Will grab what you got, will never let go until you die, and try to grab some more by trying to weaken the government, make wild accusations, crap this and crap that ha? Kamon, be responsible la, Acheng, you say crap, you show lah what, how, why it’s crap.

          2. No, you don’t lick “the sweaty government butt holes”, Mister, you just lick Anwar or Guan Eng’s sweaty butt holes la. But remember, Pakatan Rakyat blokes 1-2 years in power already showing shit coming out from their holes also – careful when you lick, OK? PR has shown all the shit that BN has, only that BN has been at it for 55 years, naturally got shit. If PR stays longer, maybe the shit will cover the seas from here to China!

          3. You blokes never cease to amaze me – your warped mind and demented way of thinking. You said, “no further substantiation need to be made, because if you take a look at the above article by JMD ..” Why “further” are you talk? Have you even substantiated any in your first comment? You understand the meaning of the word further? Or you the glib kind, simply say what you like? Cannot like that anymore these days, mah, you get whacked. Many fellas go to big schools olely, you dunno ha?

          4. And what the hell you got meaning saying “And if you are a truly Malaysian, you should know government services are no where excellent.”? (Pssst, you like my English like that or not? I don’t use he word “further”, you know!). First, you imply I’m not Malaysian. How stupid can you be. Secondly, who the hell ever said in this entire post and comments that Malaysian government services are “excellent” or “near excellent”? You trying to put words into people’s mouth? Or, again, you the loose tongue, loose gun type, shoot from the hip kind? You get shot back, don’t you?

          Aiyyo, Mister, we all can disagree and dissent, sure, man. Criticize all you like, but be responsible with what you say la. Choose your words carefully, for goodness sake. When you disagree, say why, give the facts, the explanations of what, when, where, who, how and why. Then we can have a discussion, understand? I thought of saying more but enough for now la.


    • Hahaha “a degree, masters degree and Phd in 3 years or less” – PhD tipu, ha? Like Yap Tien Sin (did I spell his last name correctly?), Chairman of Dong Zong, propagator of Chinese schools, using 2 PhD tipu. Said so in Chinese-owned papers during the Dong Zong demo in Kajang some time back.

      You fellas must be joking.


        • If not careful searching the Internet, may end up with using 2 PhD tipu. Like Yap the President of Chinese schools Dong Zong. Both PhDs bought through the Internet.

          But you were the one wanting readers to believe all those degrees in 3 years. When disputed, you provide the proof la. Give the links to reliable websites.

          How can I say 2×2 is 5 and I ask readers to go find the proof.


  8. An acquaintance once told me he was appointed to be a member of the august Public Services Commission and was leaving for an outstation interview of PTD Officers the next morning.

    When I told him to ensure they don’t take the potentially corrupt ones, he said “hehehe”. I had expected him to say that’s what he was appointed for, or at least he’d say he’d try his best. But got a very un-reassuring hehehe.

    But then he was appointed by Tun Dol. Duh!


  9. Information from a senior PTD Officer who said it is not the norm for them to blog government information unless authorized, but agreed to help clarify doubts arising from the announcement made by the Chairman of the Public Services Commission:

    “Government administration is run on the basis of three thick books called General Orders, Financial General Orders and Criminal Procedure Code. It has been the standard practice since British colonial times that all Malayan Civil Service – and now known as Administrative and Diplomatic Service (PTD) Officers – are required to pass examinations on these during the 3 year probationary period and will not be confirmed until they have done so.

    “The first two books contain rules and regulations established since the British colonial days – they might even be those that have been adopted in Britain for centuries. They pertain to the dos and don’ts of Government Officers, conduct expected of them, procedures on appointments, confirmation, promotion, steps to be followed on handling misbehavior, including financial or pecuniary embarrassment – reprimand letters, warnings, disciplinary committees and boards, deferment of increment, demotion, dismissal – transfers, medical, retirement, etc.

    “The Criminal Procedure Code contains rules of law that qualify the PTD Officers to act as Magistrates and try criminal cases of less severity than those tried by a qualified Legal Officer or a full fledged Magistrate. This had served well during those years before sufficient Legal Officers were employed by the Government to serve the courts in outlying districts such that Assistant District Officers could dispose of urgent but smaller criminal cases in the districts concerned. These are no longer done as the Legal Service has a complement of Officers to serve the districts.”

    Comment: If the above are the subjects of the examinations to be taken before recruitment that was referred to by the Chairman of the Public Services Commission, the question still remains: is it necessary to change the duration of the probationary period and is 6 months to a year a sufficient probationary period?



    • Checking on fake degrees etc does not take that long. But 3 years would be a good period to see if any reports made against the Officer to the Police, the Public Complaints Bureau, Head of Department, etc. Maybe such reports do not lead to prosecution, but help in assessing whether the Officer’s probationary period should be extended or he be confirmed. I support 3 years.


  10. My other question is: Is there any harm in leaving the 3 year probationary period as it is?

    I’m told that they get all the benefits of the confirmed Officers, except they are not on the pensionable list until they are confirmed in service. But they are given EPF benefits in lieu of that until confirmed.

    They get health benefits, the same travelling and other allowances as confirmed Officers (Division One Officers in all services of the Government don’t get paid overtime though they may slog till late nights during Budget and Parliamentary meetings, they say).

    And they perform the work of the posts assigned to them as if they are confirmed Officers, get to exercise the same discretion and execute the powers vested in those posts that the confirmed Officers do.

    So, why reduce the length of the probationary period when that can be used for determining their suitability – for example, see if they live beyond their means once they get “a Division One salary” and behave arrogantly when starting to carry a title that exists in the posts they hold, or if they mix with the wrong crowd, frequenting discos and night clubs, see if there are complaints against them particularly on corruption matters. Remember, corruption covers a wide scope – even malingering is a form of corruption.


  11. Maybe the 3-year probation period followed the British practice wanting sufficient time to observe and to see if there are complaints against the Officers. Wonder if the same 3 years probation in Britain now.

    May not guarantee those confirmed would not turn out to be corrupt buggers but at least they would have 3 years of life being careful and trained to “behave in a manner befitting their official status.”

    Old journals show the British colonial officers were very proud of their “MCS” title, which they always place after their names. But now people go after Datoship etc. Until so many become Datos – singers, comedians, cartoonists, even cooks. And crooks – we read about them brought to court etc.


  12. “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,” the PSC Chairman said.

    What urgency? Can anyone explain if the country’s economic development now is at such a hectic pace that everything is urgent, across the board, for all categories of the civil service?


  13. “ministries and departments to announce job vacancies at their monthly meeting,”

    I hear it’s a long process – ministries and departments assess their additional manpower needs based on projects (shouldn’t they be additional projects?) to be implemented, inform the Public Services Department (PSD), who go to Treasury who include them in the annual budget. After budget approval, PSD notifies the Public Services Commission (PSC), who then call for applications, interview and select the people, only then PSD makes the appointment.

    What’s the purpose in the ministries and departments announcing job vacancies at their monthly meetings? Additional projects every month? What about Officers released from completed projects?


  14. This is why company like MYEG could survive. People just could not wait for government agencies to sort out their issues. Renewing road tax at MYEG is less strenuous than renewing it at JPJ.


  15. I like the idea of exams before entrance to Civil Service, before interview etc. And the marks obtained made a sizeable portion of the selection consideration. But the subjects for the examination must be such that they actually help weed out the chaff from the grains.


    • Civil Service Entrance Examination? Sounds grand innit? Not online, I hope. You’ll get duds prodded on by the experts.

      All branches of the Civil Service? PTD, Legal Service, Medical Service, Education Service, Immigration Service, Customs Service, etc etc?


  16. Sir Jebat Must Die, can ask for your help to assist in posting this? MOHR is screwing up MAS for NUFAM formed by Tony Fernandes.

    Urgent 28th December 2012

    Protest Against Secret Ballot Exercise On MAS Cabin Crew & Claim of Recognition By National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM)

    MASEU has been informed or given to understand that NUFAM has been registered and had sought recognition from Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to represent its cabin crew.

    MASEU is of the view that it is highly improper or right for recognition to be given by Malaysian Airlines to entertain NUFAM’s claim for recognition due to the following reasons:-

    (1) A “general recognition” had long been accorded by MAS to MASEU as a general body to represent its non-executive employees including its cabin crew (i.e. graded staff) since the establishment of MASEU as an in-house union in 1979, after the Airlines Employees’ Union, Peninsular Malaya (AEU), (which represented most of Malaysia Airlines’ employees including those of foreign airlines that operated to Peninsular Malaysia) was deregistered.

    (2) Giving recognition to two unions to represent the crew is not in the spirit of good industrial relations and would cause industrial disharmony among the cabin crew who are members of MASEU and members of NUFAM. This will conflict with the objective of the Industrial Relations Act 1967.

    (3) MASEU cabin crew are well represented for 33 years in its central Committee since 1979 and currently is represented by four duly elected Cabin Crew. MASEU had successfully concluded Collective Agreement (CA) covering all its graded employees including cabin crew from the time of its establishment including the 2012 CA which MASEU had concluded with MAS on 12.12.2012.

    After almost one year, we are puzzled to receive a circular via MH internal mail dated 20th December 2012 from Secretary General of NUFAM to MAS Cabin Crew that NUFAM and MAS have signed a Voting Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will allow the National Union of Flight Attendant (i.e. NUFAM) to conduct a secret ballot exercise in MAS and this secret ballot exercise will determine whether NUFAM will be allowed to manage MAS Cabin Crew’s CA.

    MASEU protest to the proposed secret ballot exercise and MASEU request that the following action be taken by the Industrial Relations Department:-

    a) To permit MAS not to entertain any claim of recognition by NUFAM to representatives cabin crew members on the grounds given above and it is improper for MAS to sign a Voting MOU with NUFAM on 19th December 2012 especially when there is already an existing in-house union i.e. MASEU that governs MAS Cabin Crew’s CA successful for 33 years,

    b) To seek the good office of Director General of Trade Union / Minister of Human Resources to direct the NUFAM to amend its constitution to prohibit MAS cabin crew to join NUFAM on the ground that there is IN EXISTENCE an in-house trade union to represent MAS cabin crew, as evident from the Collective Agreements concluded with MAS SINCE 1979 and WHICH had been taken cognizance by the Industrial Court,

    c) To advise the Director General of Trade Union to withdraw or cancel the certificate OF registration of NUFAM, under Section 15 (2)(a) of the Trade Unions Act 1959 (Act 262) as MASEU has the largest number of MAS employees as members of MASEU if NUFAM refuses to amend its constitution,

    d) To cancel the proposed secret ballot exercise involving MAS Cabin Crew, as by allowing this exercise, would cause a conflict of interests or division of loyalty among MAS Cabin Crew, who are members of MASEU if they are invited to participate in the secret ballot.

    e) To advise MAS to revoke the Voting MOU where MAS and NUFAM signed on 19th December 2012 as this contravenes Article 8 of the Collective Agreement (CA) between MAS and MASEU. An extract of Article 8 is reproduced below:-


    The company recognized the Union as the sole collective negotiating body representing its permanent employees in Peninsular Malaysia referred to in the Employees Classification Table set out in Schedule IV.”

    MASEU views this matter seriously as the action of MAS management in signing the Voting MOU is tantamount to inducing MASEU Cabin Crew to refrain or resign to be a member of MASEU and this contravenes Section 5.1. (e) of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 which is reproduced below:-


    5.1. No employer or trade union of employers, and no person acting on behalf of an employer or such trade union shall:-

    (e) Induce a person to refrain from becoming or to cease to be a member or officer of a trade union by conferring or offering to confer any advantage on or by procuring or offering to procure any advantage for any person.”

    MASEU believe that since the registration of NUFAM was under political pressure, we also believe that the secret ballot exercise is subsequently under political pressure to grant recognition to NUFAM to represent MAS Cabin Crew is an attempt to annihilate sustainability/survival of MASEU. This practice is highly undesirable and bad for fostering good industrial relations.

    MASEU object strongly to the stand of the Ministry action and demand the Ministry to act rightly within the legal framework of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 and the Trade Union Act to foster good industrial relations in not only MAS but in the Country.

    MASEU further believe if such practice is condoned or continued, it would encourage other categories of MAS graded employees to form another National Union in MAS, which would not be in the interest of MAS and its employees.

    MASEU request that DG industrial Relations and DG Trade Union to take immediate action to accede to our request.


  17. MAS does not want to recognise NUFAM but was forced by DEP MOHR to bear all costs for NUFAM exercising secret ballots inside MAS so NUFAM can recruit MAS cabin crew as members. Current number NUFAM has is 58 only since the inception of nUFAM on 27th January 2012. Dep MOHR is the one responsible for approving NUFAM even though in-house union already existed for mas cabin crew. REPORTS to SPRM on NUFAM President for misused of fund already been lodged. Please help MAS.


    • I’m sorry, I don’t understand the issues. I wish I do and would help you shout them out.

      I do suspect fishiness in anything the Tony Fernandez fellow does, but I have to be honest by saying that I can’t get a clear understanding about what you write.


  18. The old saying “Get rid of the dead woods” was applied mainly to the Civil Service. While good civil servants may degenerate with age, the temptation and lure of the high life, middle age life crisis and what have you, selection and confirmation process is definitely damn important.

    Give them the exams to pass, etc, but retain the 3 years probationary period – not to get confirmation of their degrees etc, but to observe their aptitude for the modest, quiet and non-publicity seeking life of a civil servant, and which is not the jet-setting, high life, money-making, wheeling and dealing business executives.

    3 years are needed to detect any tendency for the second category. Once detected, don’t confirm the fellows. If not detected during the 3 year period, assess their likelihood, call them for confirmation interviews etc.


  19. Sepatutnya naikkan tempoh sah jawatan dari 3 ke 5 tahun supaya setiap penjawat awam tidak mengambil sikap sambil lewa terhadap jawatan yang mereka pegang. Maklumlah, sekarang ini banyak label yang diberikan kepada penjawat awam seperti “monkey”, “donkey” dan pelbagai lagi. Walhal jika diperhatikan, kebanyakan mereka bertugas secara jujur, cekap, tanpa mengira masa seperti para doktor dan jururawat di klinik dan hospital kerajaan meskipun gaji yang diberikan setiap bulan sudah tentu tidak akan setimpal dengan apa yang mereka boleh perolehi di sektor swasta. Sudah pasti menulis tentang sesuatu yang kita tidak tahu lebih mudah daripada mereka yang menghadapi situasi tersebut setiap hari. Fikirlah dengan mata hati.


  20. Hi all n welcome to 2013. It does not matter if the confirmaion period is 3 years, 6 months or 5 years as suggested by some. Just improve the selection process and all rest is done. Of course there will be some rotten apples but that does not make the whole barrel bad. At least from day one godwilling we get the creme del la creme into the service.
    Have an exam at all levels to get only the best as far as knowledge is concerned immaterial weather it is for the post of a clerk or a PTD officer..
    Then the system will take its toll and start to mould the succesfull candidate. If the candidate is of not strong character then he will become the victim of our times otherwise he will go down in histroy as the best in the service.

    AS for promotions, it has to be done with the idea of innovation. The rightful candidate must have the apptitude to move the organisation to a higher level rather then just being just another person on the government payroll


  21. salam tahun 13, dear jmd!

    without knowing what is involved in the appointment and confirmation process, 3 years probation does sound rather excessive, esp for those of us who only know of the usual 1-6 month probationary period [depending on type of position and with provision for the period to be extended at the discretion of the employer] of the private sector.

    i decided to check with a civil servant friend here and i was told that a 3-yr period isn’t extraordinary at all. apparently that is quite the standard practice with many governments around the world. i was then pointed to page 14 of the USA 2011 Federal Personnel Handbook, which i will copy-paste below.

    before that, allow me to say that having read said p. 14 of the fedhandbook, my eyebrow [the left one] is now raised instead at our government’s move to reduce the existing 3 yrs to 1 1/2 yrs. given the reported dismal quality of many civil servants who we can safely assume went through the 3-yr trial period, is that wise? or even necessary? perhaps what the msian civil service hiring machinery needs, to produce better quality personnel, is not this “cosmetic change”. shorter probationary period would still end up with many inefficient deadwoods if the processes were not put into practice but continue to remain words on paper as they might have been all these years.

    well whatever the case might be, for comparison or just information, here is p. 14 of the USA 2011 Federal Personnel Handbook:

    The Probationary Period

    Career and Career-Conditional Appointments


    Permanent employees are generally hired into the Federal government under a career-conditional appointment. A career-conditional employee must complete three years of substantially continuous service before becoming a full career employee. This 3-year period is used to determine whether or not the Government is able to offer the employee a career.

    Service Requirement for Career Tenure

    An employee must have 3 years of substantially continuous creditable service to become a career employee, i.e. obtain career tenure. The 3-year period must begin and end with nontemporary employment in the competitive service. Generally, substantially continuous creditable service must not include any break in service of more than 30 calendar days. If an employee does not complete the 3-year period, a single break in service of more than 30 calendar days will require the employee to serve a new 3-year period. (Periods of time in a nonpay status are not breaks in service and do not require the employee to begin a new 3-year period. However, they may extend the service time needed for career tenure.) Career-conditional employees automatically become career employees upon completion of this service requirement. Additionally, employees with career tenure have a higher retention standing during layoffs.

    Required Probationary Period

    The first year of service of an employee who is given a career-conditional appointment is considered a probationary period. The probationary period is really the final and most important step in the examining process. It affords the supervisor an opportunity to evaluate the employee’s performance and conduct on the job, and to remove the person without undue formality, if necessary. A person who is transferred, promoted, demoted, or reassigned before completing probation is required to complete the probationary period in the new position. Prior Federal civilian service counts toward completion of probation if it is in the same agency, same line of work, and without a break in service.

    Care should be taken to distinguish the 1-year probationary period from the 3-year career-conditional period. The probationary period is used to determine the employee’s ability and fitness required for permanent Government service. The 3-year career-conditional period is established only to measure the employee’s interest in, and the Government’s ability to provide, a career in the Federal service.

    Acquiring Competitive Status
    Competitive status is a person’s basic eligibility for assignment (e.g., by transfer, promotion,reassignment, demotion, or reinstatement) to a position in the competitive service without having to compete with members of the general public in an open competitive examination. When a vacancy announcement indicates that status candidates are eligible to apply, career employees and career-conditional employees who have served at least 90 days after competitive appointment may apply. Once acquired, status belongs to the individual, not to a position.


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