Govt looks to reinstate disbanded agencies

pic by BERNAMA

THE government is looking to reinstate agencies disbanded by Pakatan Harapan (PH) but with different specifications, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Shabudin Yahaya (picture) said.

He said studies conducted by the federal administration showed the need for such agencies to serve national interests.

“We are now waiting for reports by the Public Service Department (JPM) and the Ministry of Finance on the preparations required in terms of necessity and financial capacity to reinstate these departments and agencies,” Shabudin told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He was responding to a supplementary question by Senator Datuk Othman Aziz, who asked if the government would proceed with PH’s plan to downsize the civil service and restore agencies that were abolished such as the National Council of Professors (MPN) and Special Affairs Department (JASA).

“Currently, the government does not have any policy to immediately downsize the civil service. We will study the matter from time to time to take stock of the situation and in creating job opportunities in the civil service. We are not tied to what the previous government has planned.

“Our decision will be based on the advice of JPM on what is required to make sure the federal administration runs smoothly,” Shabudin added.

Following a historic election win in May 2018, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced plans to downsize the public sector as part of a cost-cutting process to reduce the burden on the nation’s financial health.

Dr Mahathir said some agencies such as JASA has become a controversial propaganda unit of Barisan Nasional, while the MPN becomes increasingly affected by political factors.

He said the civil service has also become bloated, with the number of civil servants estimated to be at 1.7 million as of last year, compared to a million in 2003.

“The size of the civil service has grown too big and become worrisome for a very long time as it continues to increase the government’s financial burden and at the same time, reduces the allocation for development purposes,” Dr Mahathir told the Parliament last year.

He said if the situation persists, the government’s management expenditure would continue to take a big chunk from the country’s national budget each year and eventually slow down economic growth.