Over half a million people have joined the civil service with just an SPM certificate or lower as their academic qualifications, official statistics reveal.
In a written parliamentary reply on Wednesday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Azalina Othman Said said as of Jan 1 this year, the civil service employed 275,375 SPM certificate holders.
A further 231,972 public servants were employed with either PMR, PT3, or UPSR as their only paper qualifications.
Meanwhile some 35,000 civil servants are STPM holders, while almost 192,000 have diplomas. Statistics for those hired with degrees or higher were not provided.
The percentage of public servants who joined with SPM qualifications or lower is 36.8 percent of the 1.38 million-strong civil service.
They also make up two-thirds of all support staff which numbers 785,000 people in the civil service.
Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani had said there is one civil servant for every 19.37 Malaysian, one of the highest ratio in the world.
Former Treasury secretary-general Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim had urged for the bloated civil service to be downsized to bring operational expenditure under control.