Is the plunge of the sole Malaysian Indian KSU from the civil service stratosphere of the Treasury between 1994-1997 to the depths of the National Unity and Social Development Ministry from 1998 to 2003 another sign of the relentless marginalization of Indians into an underclass?
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Thursday): Yesterday, I said that on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of Samy Vellu as Minister since his first Cabinet appointment on 21st October 1979, making him the most senior and longest-serving Minister in the country after the retirement of Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as Prime Minister in eight days’ time on Oct. 31, I found to my shock and horror that none of the Malaysian Indians I asked could immediately answer two questions:
The present Malaysian Indian KSU is Dr. P. Manogran, who was appointed National Unity and Social Development Ministry secretary-general from February 5, 2001, who succeeded Datuk R. Theivandaran who retired from the same post on January 15, 2001. Theivandaran was the Malaysian Indian KSU before Manogran, from May 7, 1998 to Jan. 15, 2001.
There was no Malaysian Indian KSU in the first four months of 1998, as the previous Malaysian Indian KSU Datuk Clifford Francis Herbert was the Finance Ministry’s secretary-general from August 8, 1994 to December 31, 1997.
The questions that Samy Vellu should answer are whether his tenure of close to a quarter of a century as Cabinet Minister represented the Malaysian Indian participation ratio and role in the public service at its worst, highlighting the relentless political and socio-economic marginalization of the Malaysian Indians into an underclass with the double plunge of:
The post of KSU of the Finance Ministry is one of the highest civil service positions while that of KSU of the Ministry of National Unity and Social Development belong to the lowliest rungs of KSUs.
The higher echelons of the civil service are divided into seven superscale grades, viz:
The post of Treasury KSU held by Clifford Herbert between 1994-1997 was the second highest grade of VU2 while the post of National Unity and Social Development Ministry KSU is a lowly VU6. As a matter of interest, among the posts ranked in the third highest grades of VU3 are the Inspector-General of Police and the Chief of Armed Forces.
Dr. Manogran was director-general of planning of the Public Services Department before his KSU appointment. Why is Manogran stuck in the National Unity and Social Development Ministry without any chance of promotion to higher KSU grades to other more important Ministries?
I have received emails about the Malaysian Indian ratio and role in the civil service, in particular reference to the nation-building goal and the restructuring objective of the New Economic Policy, National Development Policy and the three Outline Perspective Plans to ensure that the civil service reflect fairly the racial composition of the country’s population.
One email said:
Another email said:
The problems about the Malaysian Indian and non-Malay ratio and role in the public service, as well as the complaints raised by the two emails I mentioned, are very serious issues which should deserve top priority attention and debate of the present Parliamentary meeting as well as the civil society – for they will go a long way to determining whether Malaysia will succeed as a united, harmonious, progressive and prosperous nation in the new millennium.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman