KOTA KINABALU: The state government will not rush into filling the remaining 4,000 vacancies in the civil service as it is prioritising critical areas in order to be more cost-efficient, says Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
The Sabah Chief Minister said there were presently 21,000 state public servants out of the 25,000 posts available.
“Over the last five years, there has been a 6.48% reduction in the filling of vacancies in various grades.“The vacancies will only be filled if they are critical and able to generate revenue for the state,” he said during Question Time at the state assembly sitting yesterday.
Mohd Shafie said the state government would employ a trade-off of vacancies which were no longer relevant to “allow positions formed for more strategic and critical areas, especially in management and professional work”.
He was replying to a question by Datuk Isnin Aliasnih (Bersatu-Klias), who asked whether the state government was employing steps to reduce the number of civil servants as proposed by the Federal Government.
Mohd Shafie said the state also wanted to encourage innovation and automation in the public service delivery system.
“However, the cut in the last five years did not affect the existing public servants.
“There has been no retrenchment or shortening of service concerning them,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Sabah government is expected to amend laws to pave the way for raising the minimum age of marriage to 18 years.
This was disclosed by Sabah Law and Native Affairs Minister Datuk Aidi Moktar in his winding-up speech.
“It was proposed that the Muslim Families Law Enactment, Native Court Enactment and any relevant laws be amended in the coming state assembly meeting,” he said but did not elaborate.
Sabah mufti Datuk Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar triggered a controversy last September when he suggested that the state lower the marriageable age to 14 for girls and 16 for boys.
However, in the following month, the state Cabinet decided to raise the current age limit from 16 to 18 years.