There has been much discussion on the bloated civil service-and the even more bloated Prime Minister Department-with the PM Dept given a budget of RM12bil for 2010 and employing 43 554 people. The White House of USA, by contrast, only spend about Rm1bil and employing less than 2000 staff!
Some ways to make sense of it: Usually the development/operation (program vs staff cost) of the entire civil service is about 1:2 ie they spend, on average, RM2.00 to employ a civil servant who has, on average, only Rm1.00 to carry out his/her task. This is not very efficient-but that is a story on its own. So: since the huge staff cost about Rm4bil they would be spending only about another Rm2bil to do their work. What do the PM do with the rest of the PM Dept budget ie Rm12bil-Rm4bil-Rm2bil=RMRm6bil? A small guess: since it has been estimated that the Sarawak state elections costed the BN RM0.5bil, then the operating cost that goes with it is another RM1bil ie Rm1.5bil for the 10th Sarawak state elections. But that is not the only elections that may come this year. The big one is just over the horizon -or as some others may have it, just hanging like a sword over the heads of the citizens!
So how does this guess compared to other guesses on how the Rm12bil is going to be spent? Other guesses include: the PM does not trust other ministers-so duplicate their job-only partly truths; PM is centralising his administration-which should see the ministries being trimmed; PM need it to give away contracts to cronies-but other Ministries are doing them already.
So back to the above mentioned election war chest theory: the making of instant allocations to all election areas need a source of fund which even the most wealthy party in the country will find it hard to handle. It is not just the fund-but also the `runners’ to identify the most efficient/voter-friendly ways to spend the money. So it is not unlikely that many of the `assistants’ to the PM are just doing that-all over the country!
Then the forms of the allocations: in many parts of the country especially Sarawak there are increasingly more blue signboards of Minor Rural Project bearing the PM Dept’s logo going up everywhere. Some even are given to single house for the simple purpose of `house improvement’! How do they choose whose house is more deserving for publicly funded improvement? Political favouritism is big suspect.
What does it says about the PM going down to such levels to given out the allocations? The quick answer :does the PM has nothing better to do than to look for rakyet’s houses to be `improved’? Should not the Housing Ministry or the State Government be entrusted to look into such nitty gritty development in the country? Conversely: isn’t the PM’s attention diverted from the more pressing national and even international issues facing the country where no one else has similar authority to handle?
Does that also mean that the PM himself is not confident of the policies and programs of his government or the deliveries of his government’s executive branch? And will this small time corrections everywhere the best way to address the weaknesses?
Look like the elections tactics of giving out goodies have taken over all other priorities of the government if we go by the size of the PM Dept in terms of budget and staffing level!
Look at it another way: there are clsoe to 12mil voters in Malaysia today. Assuming that most of the staff in the PM Dept are devoting their time to `look after’ the voters we are looking at 12 000 000/40 000=300 ie 1 PM Dept officer is `looking after’/monitor about 300-500 voters in this country! (Assuming not all the PM Dept staff are involved) This is an amazing level of surveillance by the PM dept! An Orwellian `Big Bro’ no less!
Now these civil servants of the PM Dept are spending Rm4mil for `operation expenditure’ ie each one is paid Rm4 000 000 000.00/43 554=RM91 840/pa=Rm7653.00/month!
They qualify as the `super-civil servants’ -or the civil servants of civil servants given that the civil servants are considered as poorly paid compared to private sectors! With such pay it would make you rethink the way you look at the ordinary civil servants-won’t you pity them?!
Then how many equivalent of Minor Rural Projects -typically costing between Rm10k-20k each,the Development expenditure of the PM Dept can give? If we just take the RM6bil left from staff wages and their `development programs’, we have Rm6 000 000 000.00/15 000.00 (take a average figure for MRP)=400 000 projects! This mean that about 12 000 000 voters/400 000 projects= 1 in about 30 voters can get a Minor Rural Project from the PM Dept! So: instead of looking down on the road when you walk -to spot some dropped coins/dollar notes, may be you can look up to spot a PM Dept officer/runner who may give you Rm10k-20k for improving your life! It is higher chance than buying any lotteries!
Think about it: the PM has Rm6bil/12 months=Rm0.5bil to give away every month or 500 000 000.00/30days=RM17 000 000.00 or Rm17mil to give away nation wide every day! He must be a damn good luck man to meet-a veritable God of Prosperity!
The only condition: you must be prepared to sell the vote in your hand!