Friday, February 26, 2010

Cuepacs insist female majority bad for civil service

Cuepacs secretary-general Ahmad Shah Mohd Zin is sticking to his guns over his controversial statement that the increasing number of female civil servants would create a negative impact on the service’s delivery system.

He claimed that his statement, published on Monday, had been taken out of context by female groups and leaders who were merely trying to “politicise the issue” when they lambasted him and called him “sexist”.

Amongst the groups were the Wanita MCA and Wanita Gerakan wings which claimed that Ahmad Shah had shown clear disrespect and disregard to women.

Even Prime Minister Datuk Seriu Najib Tun Razak had stepped in to assure women that it was their delivery service that mattered and not their gender.

Ahmad Shah also insisted that he had no intention to threaten the gender and had only been pushing for “gender equality” between the two sexes as it was lopsided in the civil service.

“Why should I threaten women? My mother is a woman. I also have two daughters.

“I never said it was a problem that women are working in the civil service. What I said was that in the long run, the dominance of female presence in the service would have a negative impact on the growth and progress of the country,” he told The Malaysian Insider last night.

He explained that the negative impact would be due to women’s general working attitudes which tended to be inflexible and rigid as well as the fact that they needed to take long maternity leaves.

Ahmad Shah added that the government not only should adhere to its policy of reserving 30 per cent of decision making posts for women, but should also tweak the criterion for qualifying candidates into the posts.

“At the present moment, candidates are chosen based on their academic qualifications — at least 90 per cent of the criterion is based on academic achievements. But this does not suffice in the real world.

“In that case, even a blind person can get the job, so long as he or she fulfills the relevant qualifications,” he said, adding that most women were generally better than men in academics.

Ahmad Shah suggested that the criterion be expanded to include emotional strengths, ability to cope under pressure, leadership skills and other skills.

“There must be a mechanism proposed to measure these things before a candidate is selected. Only then is the candidate suitable to hold the respective post,” he said.

In his statement earlier, Ahmad Shah had also said that almost three quarters of the new posts in the administrative and diplomatic service were currently being filled by women.

His claim however was contested by the Public Services Department, which revealed that female presence on the higher management, management and professional as well as support staff roles in the service was 53 per cent in comparison with men at 47 per cent.

According to its figures, women made up 28 per cent of the higher management workforce, 61 per cent of the management and professional fields and 50 per cent in the support staff group.

Ahmad Shah however insisted that the 61 per cent ultimately meant that in the coming five years, females would dominate the majority of the higher managerial posts in the service.

“It is this way now and the same group would be promoted and will form the team for the higher managerial posts. As mentioned before, this affects the delivery system of the service,” he said.

When questioned on whether the present female dominance in the service merely meant that the men, especially the youths, were not interested or incompetent, Ahmad Shah again blamed it on the qualification criteria.

“Woman are better at academics somehow,” he said.

According to the 2007 statistics from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, the female labour force made up for only 36 per cent of the total labour force of about 10.5 million people.

Of the female population at 13.34 million (46 per cent of the total population), the female labour force made up for 46.4 per cent. A majority of them work in the service and shop and market sales workers.

According to the Gender Gap Index 2009 (on gender equality), which rates Malaysia at the low rung of 101 out of 134 countries, the female adult unemployment rate was still higher than men at 3.43 per cent to 3.22 per cent.

Figures from the PSD show that there are 1.29 million jobs in ministries and state administrations up for grabs and more than 250,000 still remain unoccupied.

news courtesy of Malaysian Insider

1 comment:

Chauncey Gardener said...

Speechless !