Koon Yew Yin's Blog

Malaysia has the most civil servant per capita in the world - Koon Yew Yin

Koon Yew Yin
Publish date: Tue, 25 Apr 2023, 09:33 AM
Koon Yew Yin
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An official blog in i3investor to publish sharing by Mr. Koon Yew Yin.

All materials published here are prepared by Mr. Koon Yew Yin

Unlike the old days, today we have the internet, computers and Google. We can find any information by Google.

I just Google “How many civil servant per capita has Malaysia?” This is the answer “Malaysia has 1.7 million civil servants for our population of 36.5 million. This works out to one civil servant for every 20 citizens. Malaysia has the most civil servants per capita in the world. Almost all the civil servants are ethnic Malays”.

I Google the same questions for Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. The followings are the answers”

  • Singapore has 1 civil servant for 66.8 people.
  • Taiwan has 1 civil servant for 65 people.
  • South Korea has 1 civil servant for 45 people.  

Why do we have so many more civil servants per capita than Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea?

Are our civil servants lazy and slow in doing work?

In fact, 1 computer can work faster than 10 people.

The total cost to maintain 1.7 million civil servants is Rm 41 billion per year. On the top of this, the Government has to make provision for their pension when they retire. The chart below shows Government pension costs:

To reduce the number of civil servants is a very sensitive issue especially before the last general election. Now the Unity Government is formed with Dato Sri Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister. Based on his courage to implement his anti-corruption policy, I think he will reduce the number of civil servants to reduce cost and improve our economy.  

Under the previous UMNO controlled government, our annual GDP growth rate has been dropping in the last 50 years from 12% in 1973 to the current level of 4.5% due to corruption and bad management as shown below:

There are many Government departments in every town and city throughout the country. Government departments are actually large companies or conglomerates doing various kind of businesses. In doing business, if you can reduce management cost, you can produce more profit.

The Government should reduce management cost by reducing the number of civil servants.   

Unlike the old days, today we have internet and computers. We can send an email which will reach the recipient in a few seconds. In the old days, we have to type our letters on papers, put them in envelopes, paste stamps to post them in the post offices. As a result, our Government can easily reduce the number of clerks and typists. In fact, 1 computer can replace many staff.  

Another good example is the use of the ATM machines. In the old days, if you want to take out money, you have to write out a cheque or if you want to deposit money, you have to fill up money deposit forms and travel all the way to your bank for the bank clerks to process the transaction.

In fact, you can send money or receive money by your computer or hand phone without leaving your office or your house. Currently all workers’ wages and salaries are paid directly into their bank accounts. As a result, the number. of staff can be reduced to reduce cost.   

Civil Service reform.

As I said earlier, the cost of management is very important. The Government must keep management cost as low as practically possible to produce higher profit or benefit for the people and the tax payers.

Government should increase the number of non-Malays to create a competitive spirit and improve management efficiency.

Employment and promotion of civil servants should be based on qualification and not based on race or religion.

Currently Malaysian public debt now stands at RM 1.45 trillion, 81 percent of GDP. This debt blew out during the pandemic, and must be reeled in. Debt reduction requires government savings through improving efficiency within the civil service, developing a broader and more diverse tax base, and eliminating spending leakages.

In 1970 our GDP per capita was about the same as Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. Currently the GDP per capita of Singapore is 3.5 times, Taiwan is 3 times and South Korea is 2.5 times ours respectively.

All these 3 countries do not even have timber to build their houses, but they are classified as Developed Nations.  

Not so long ago, Malaysia was the largest producer of tin, rubber and palm oil. Moreover we are the 16th biggest oil and gas producer in the world. Yet, we could not be classified as a Developed Nation.

In 2012 I wrote my first book “Malaysia Road Map for Achieving Visio 2020”. In 2021 I wrote my 2nd book “New Road Map to a Developed Nation” which was launched by Dato Sri Anwar Ibrahim.

I hope all my readers will forward this article to the MPs in their districts so that they can discuss in Parliament to find new ways to make Malaysia a Developed Nation.


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1 person likes this. Showing 13 of 13 comments


unkle KuYin...
1. Malaysia geographically divided into 2 big separate region, east and west. and over East, people still live scattered.
2. Malaysia one of the biggest sea border in comparison to its land base, some more situated right in the middle of contesting nation that continuously engage its security, fron indon, filipines, CHINA, thai, ets.. you need lots of arm forces, polices etc to cover all these borders.
3. Other nation not include their arm forces.

..lastly, you kaya becoz of the peace and security provided by these arm forces la. People like you la makes other malaysia feel irritated, sibuk buat duit but never care about contribution to the security and peace of this nation !!.. You think if no security business can flourish eh? people will invest in Malaysia eh?..

As unkle KuYin..you can always lari to singapore or china whenever you feel insecure in this country. Right?

2023-04-26 07:31


Uncle, if most people doesnt have money, how can they buy goods from a bussines man like u aaa?

2023-04-26 07:47


everything has pros and cons.

2023-04-26 08:41


That's actually a great suggestion, they work a lot less anyway under PH government.


His supporters always find excuse for him.

Sad though.....

2023-04-27 06:28


the truth is malaysia has lost its competitiveness over the years, resulting in the number of jobs in the private sector unable to support the working population. So the govt 'artificially' create jobs in the govt public sector to absorb the unemployed (mostly from one race).

2023-04-27 07:55


if not because of this 'artificial' job creation, the unemployment rate in malaysia will be much much much higher

2023-04-27 07:55


the figures i think included teachers, armies, police, hospital staffs etc which probably amounted to half of the 1.7mil. But the remaining still on high side though.

2023-04-27 11:00


Sack them and have a revolution?

2023-04-27 11:49


People need employment

2023-04-27 11:50


cushy jobs

2023-04-27 13:29


Put them out of work and start a revolution? https://papas-freezeria.com/

2023-06-01 16:33


semua salah DAP

2023-06-01 16:41


otherwise mana ada kerja kat malaysia?

2023-06-01 16:44

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