KUALA LUMPUR: DAP and its allies should downsize the civil service in states under their rule, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said.
"It's very simple if they want to reduce the number of government servants. Some of the states under them, they have the state civil service, so they should reduce theirs first."
He was responding to a revelation of a plan to trim the size of the civil service if the loose grouping of opposition parties came to power in the next general election.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said reducing the number of civil servants was not acceptable.
"It is impossible to cut down the number of government servants as the nation depends on them."
The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) president Datuk Omar Osman said that they were against the statement made by DAP national publicity chief Tony Pua because they refused to be a part of any political agenda.
"This is cheap publicity for them. They should focus on how to better the benefits for civil servants and not talk about reducing the numbers that will spike up the number of unemployed," he added.
Omar said civil servants should not pay too much attention to the statement and the comparisons made with other countries.
"We can't always compare ourselves with other countries because different countries have different systems that work," he said, adding that civil servants shouldn't worry about their job security following the statement.
Omar said that they were not interested to find out the reason why civil servants were made the scapegoat although he felt hurt and disappointed that they were made to feel so irrelevant.
Government Executive Officers' Union president Saadon Aris said the move alluded to by Pua was not logical.
"What would happen if we reduce the number of police officers? Law enforcement as a whole would be affected and that can be disastrous to the nation."
Saadon, who is also the programme coordinator of the Public Service Commission Academy, said that it had received over 60,000 applications for administrative vacancies but had hired only 4,000.
"If we cut down on hiring, there would be more unemployed people and it would not do our economy any good."