Meritocracy in civil service debate: NGOs advised to take friendlier approach

Datuk Idris Buang

KUCHING, Nov 15: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) information chief Datuk Idris Buang has suggested a friendly powwow instead of an open live debate on the issue of meritocracy in the composition of the Sarawak state civil service.

He was responding to the challenge thrown by the Dayak Round Table (DRT) and 722 Sarawak Independence Day group to Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip for an open live debate to present facts and statistics on the composition of the state civil service which the minister had ealier said was based on meritocracy.

“There are better avenues than taking such a matter to an open debate. I do not think we all are ready for that in view of the many intertwining ramifications, repercussions and endless polemics, none of which could satisfy any debating mind,” he said in a statement tonight.

Furthermore, Idris pointed out that Talib did not challenge for a debate but presentation of facts and statistics.

He thus reckoned that the group should start the engagement on a lighter tone with a friendly powwow with the ministry or the State Public Service Commission which had a multiracial composition.

“The latter can give them a comprehensive briefing with facts and figures,” he said.

The group, he added, could in a cordial and respectable setting ask any reasonable question they feel is relevant and appropriate.

“I believe this is the right way to go. To have it any other way would just create unnecessary and unfair perception, speculation and conjectures which could be capitalised on by irresponsible people to jeopardise our racial harmony,” Idris opined.

“I am confident that an amenable mode of engagement can be agreed upon if we together take heed of the need to preserve our racial harmony,” he emphasised.

He urged all concerned to respect, appreciate and protect the state’s harmony and solidarity, as well as the commonality of appreciating its value, in the best possible manner.

Early today, DRT spokesperson Alim Mideh publicly accepted the challenge by Talib to present the facts and statistics on the recruitment of the state civil service which they alleged was very discriminatory and unfair.

The group has given Talib 14 days from today to answer if he would take up the challenge or not.

Alim was responding to a DayakDaily news report on Nov 12 regarding the composition of the Sarawak state civil service in which Talib earlier defended by saying it was based on meritocracy and not as per posted on social media.

Talib had challenged those who disagreed to come up with facts and statistics. — DayakDaily