Call to rejuvenate service

By Wednesday November 16th, 2011 No Comments

Prime minister wants feedback on improving public and private sectors

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has called for a paradigm shift in the country’s public sector delivery service. In his latest 1Malaysia blog entry titled “Relics of the Cold War” yesterday, Najib described the level of service in the country as still stuck in the Cold War era.

“Many countries had once shared our belief in similar policies and practices, but they have moved on.

“In particular, the Cold War period between the 1940s to the early 1990s had largely influenced governments everywhere to be more cautious and rigid in their policies and views. The Cold War is over, and the world is a different place now. It is time for us to move on.

“It is time for us to make the transformation and do away with the relics of the Cold War era.”

Najib said the public and private sectors must move forward together and make the transformation.

“A nation with a first-world mentality believes in a level of service that is efficient as it is courteous. It believes in according people respect as a means to earn mutual respect. It believes in taking pride in a service delivery system that functions smart, without being bogged down by redundant rules and excessive red tape.”

Najib said to foster public confidence, the government must satisfy the people’s needs and expectations.

He said rules and policies were meant to facilitate this rather than act as a barrier to good service and public confidence.

“If a rule or policy appears to function at the expense of public interest, then it should be reviewed or overhauled; it should not be sacrosanct to public interest.”

He gave as an example the forms needed in government transactions.

“In a number of policies, forms are part of the law, and unless they are correctly filed, the public may find their appeals and requests slowed down by mere administrative paperwork.

“In reality, the actual process, with the right approach, could take a matter of hours or days to resolve, rather than weeks or months because of say, an incorrectly filed form. I have wondered, and this is a consideration, would it not be much easier for the public, and more effective for the civil service to make these forms supplementary to the law, rather than part of the law?”

Despite his call for change, Najib praised the changes undertaken by the government and the public service throughout the years.

“Of course, this in no way dismisses the foundations previously laid down by our forefathers in building our country into what we have become.

“Were it not for their vision and foresight, as well as the subsequent policies to carry them through, we would not be enjoying this level of economic prosperity or social harmony.”

Najib said the government had done good work in recent years and applauded the civil service.

“But let us not just consider striving for efficient processes, we must also make the processes effective.

“Bottom line, while the government must ensure the balance of a proper administration and speedy processes, we must also not forget that there is an element of effective ‘demand-oriented service’ that we must strongly consider in moving our administration forward.”

He also cautioned that all changes must be done carefully.

“For the sake of our future, we must adapt to these changes accordingly while simultaneously preserving our national identity and integrity.”

Najib called on the people to help him improve the level of service in the public and private sectors.

“What are your thoughts? In your opinion, what can be done to bring about this change in mentality in both public and private sectors?

“What examples should we look at or model after? I welcome your feedback.”

Source : New Straits Times

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