In state assembly, Sarawak lawmaker highlights racial bias in recruitment of civil servants

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, Nov 24 — Dudong assemblyman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing today urged the Sarawak government to ensure that the state civil service recruitment system is free from the taint of racism and that every job seeker is treated fairly.

He said minority job seekers ranging from the Dayak, Bidayuh, Melanau and Chinese communities had told him they had been denied equal opportunities due to their ethnicities.

“Civil servants in many agencies are also known to consist only of people from specific ethnicities,” Tiong said during the debate on the state Budget 2023 at the state assembly.

He said many among the younger generation, especially, feel that such a situation is unfair.

“I would like to highlight that this issue of discrimination and unfairness impacts the government seriously, which must be seriously investigated,” he said, adding that the state government should not let the people continue to be annoyed or unhappy with the government.

He said at worst, they accused the government of being racist against certain groups of people.

“But even if they are fortunate enough to be hired into the civil service, many still face obstacles that hamper their promotions or career advancement in government agencies.

“Some who have served in the system feel that because they do not know how to please their superiors, they are also left out of promotions.

“On the other hand, they see their colleagues who can curry favour with their superiors getting special attention and are able to move up to higher ranks,” said Tiong, who also won back his Bintulu parliamentary seat in last Saturday’s 15th general election.

He said all these have resulted in hardworking people becoming disappointed with the government system, affecting the overall performance of entire departments.

He also warned that the Yayasan Sarawak Board of Directors is not inclusive and dominated by a single race without many Dayaks, Chinese or other non-Malays being appointed.

He added many state civil servants are not supportive of Gabungan Parti Sarawak, with some known to campaign on social media to their followers, especially rural people, to vote for opposition parties in the state and general elections.