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Election Watch

Public service a letdown

Source: The Star
Date: 25 July 2012

I REFER to your report on the Public Complaints Bureau’s 2011 annual report “Lack of action and delays the main grouses about public service” (The Star, July 24).

It’s indeed sad that despite all the good government efforts to transform our country and society, to reach developed economy status by 2020, about 45% or nearly half our public complaints end up with bad results!

Action on these complaints are either delayed or ignored.

The public will now wonder what has happened to the Government’s call for “People first, performance now”.

Is there a widening gap between sound policies and poor implementation?

Based on the unsatisfactory but honest appraisal of the Public Complaints Bureau, we can conclude that the public service is letting us all down badly by their poor performance and service to the rakyat.

The question will grow in the public mind as to what the Government will do about these declining standards of public service .

Will the worst agencies and their staff from the Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Ministry, the Natural Resources Ministry and the Housing and Local Government Ministry, be pulled up and punished for their dismal performance?

The rakyat must be informed and not further ignored.

The public will definitely be disheartened by this report on inefficiency and the indifference of many government officials who have recently been given so many salary increases and perquisites from the shrinking taxpayers hard-earned incomes.

Many ordinary citizens have had bitter experiences with government agencies, particularly at the local councils.

They can relate to the findings of the report, with much grievance and hurt feelings .

They will no doubt express their displeasure at the ballot box when the time comes.

The Government has therefore to act fast to satisfy public complainants.

It has to overcome the problems of delay and inaction to further improve the delivery system through more initiatives from the agents of change such as Pemandu and Permuda and indeed the new enthusiastic Chief Secretary to the Government.

In the meantime, it is recommended that:

> The minority of laggard civil servants be phased out and the public service downsized to raise the quality of the 1.4 million public servants; and

> The Government could also introduce local council elections to ensure better management of employees who will be made more accountable for their delays and inaction!

The Malaysian public expects and quite rightly, to be better served by the public service, as promised by our government.

TAN SRI RAMON NAVARATMAN

Chairman, Asli Center of Public Policy Studies


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