May 28, 2018
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged the civil servants to help the new government restore the country’s reputation and make Malaysia respectable again.
He feels that this is the attitude all civil servants must have.
Returning to Putrajaya for the first time as prime minister after a lapse of 15 years, Mahathir told the civil servants unreservedly at Dataran Putra that he was indeed disappointed with the past performance of some civil servants.
Now that Pakatan Harapan has taken over Putrajaya, civil servants need to shift their attitude and improve their on-job efficiency. The many administrative lapses in the past were a consequence of civil servants’ submissiveness and reluctance to go against the will of their bosses.
As for low-level civil servants, their below par performance was largely due to the deficient system itself whereby clear definitions for many things were fundamentally non-existent besides the dysfunctional reward and punishment system, hence the undesirable operational efficiency and attitude.
We are not here to generalize the entire civil service sector. Indeed there have been positive changes to the bureaucratic system, and the previous BN administration did a good job in enhancing public service management
That said, there is still room for improvement and the country’s civil service sector not only needs to live up to public expectations in terms of service delivery, but also management.
Where rule of law is concerned, Tun Mahathir has stressed its importance to a democratic country’s administrative success.
Indeed, all the powers entrusted to the government have been derived from the law, and the government must act according to the specifications and principles provided by the law. The public service sector and government officials have the responsibility of carrying out the policies drawn up by democratically elected government in accordance with the law.
The nature of rule of law is the prevalence of law over the Executive Branch to ensure it doesn’t act beyond the confines permissible under the law while checking the phenomenon of dereliction of duty and abuse of power.
Tun Mahathir has reiterated that the independence of the three branches of government must be safeguarded to prevent administrative irregularities.
Such irregularities will not only undermine the national institution but also erode the country’s finances, causing public debt to soar. These irregularities must be maximally controlled from the very root of the power structure by reining in the inordinate expansion of executive powers.
Government officials must be able to provide timely and appropriate advice to the government at the onset of any incident that may entail a clash of interests so that they can dutifully carry out their jobs.
This is the only way to clean up the national institution in creating a clean, efficient and progressive administrative system for the continued prosperity of our country.