Archive for category public service
– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
November 29, 2013
To say that the newly established National Unity Consultative Council has been greeted with a big yawn by the public is too kind. Feedback so far especially over the uncensored internet has ranged from scepticism – “a political wayang” to the dismissive – “a waste of taxpayers’ money and time” and “expect NUCC to go the way of the 1Malaysia slogan”.
One reader has already predicted that “it will soon be known as the ‘No Use Consultative Council (NUCC)’”.
Part of the reason for the criticism is that among the group appointed to forge a new direction in national unity are some well-known apple polishers who have risen to where they are because of their prowess in flattering the Barisan Nasional.
On the bright side, those appointed could have been much worse – think of what outcome we will have if the Government had appointed Riduan Tee or Awang Selamat.
Another problem is the restricted terms of reference set up for the Council which can discuss only four subject areas – laws, the federal constitution, values and programmes. Why this limitation if not to prevent discussion of sensitive areas is the obvious conclusion to reach. Read the rest of this entry »
New insight into Najib’s “Endless Possibilities” – one of world’s highest civil servants-to-population ratio relying increasingly on foreign consultants even to draft national documents and masterplans
A parliamentary reply has given a new insight into the strange directions that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib is taking the country with his slogan of “Endless Possibilities”.
Malaysia has one the largest civil services in the world, with a 1.4 million civil servants accounting for 10 per cent of the labour force.
In 2009, Malaysia’s civil servants-to-population ratio was the highest in the Asia-Pacific. The ratio was 4.68 per cent compared to Singapore’s 1.4 per cent, Indonesia’s 1.79 per cent, South Korea’s 1.85 per cent and Thailand’s 2.06 per cent – all of which have less than half our ratio.
Strangely enough, despite having one of the highest civil servants-to-population ratio in the world, Malaysia is relying increasingly on foreign consultants even to draft national documents and masterplans. Read the rest of this entry »
by P Ramakrishnan
Decent thinking Malaysians were justifiably shocked that a former judge of the Court of Appeals, Mohd Noor Abdullah, could have expressed views that are so abhorrently out of character for a judge.
There was no sobriety or sanity in his statement.
One would expect such incoherent utterings from the likes of extremists from Umno – not from a judge. But then, he reportedly has some connection with Umno and therefore it should not come as a surprise. Apparently, he is a member of Umno’s disciplinary committee. Read the rest of this entry »
— Greener Pastures
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 04, 2013
JAN 4 — I write today to present a scenario from personal experience which relates to the national brain-drain and low enrolment in the civil service.
I have served in the civil service for three years now, and the reasons why I joined the civil service was because of my mother, who herself served as a teacher for 30 years and convinced me that the civil service was not what most people thought it to be. In fact, it gave her a good career, a good life, a good income and good benefits right up till now in her retirement. The other reason was I wanted a stable job that would allow me a good work-life balance and time for my new family.
So, after graduating in the Dean’s list from a local university and working in the private sector for a while, I applied and subsequently was called to service. Before I started in the civil service, one year after graduation, I took a certification examination which allows me to practise in many foreign countries. But I chose to stay in Malaysia because Malaysia is home.
I am perhaps the unlikeliest candidate to choose the civil service. The first question most people ask is “Why did you join the civil service?”, and then it is usually followed by “When are you leaving (the civil service)?”. There were two options for me to join the civil service, my first choice was to join the academia. When I embarked on the application process, they told me that they weren’t keen on accepting me because they were afraid that I would leave the University after I got my post-graduate qualifications. Facing such negativity, I gave up on that option and chose to join the civil service proper.
Even with my excellent results, overseas certification and private sector experience, I started off with the basic graduate’s pay grade, which was very low, considering that with my overseas certification, I could get a job in other countries which would pay between RM10,000 — RM40,000 a month. As such, I was only getting somewhere around RM35,000 per annum. The current salary I get, is just enough to maintain a comfortable middle income lifestyle if I don’t purchase a car or house. But I thought that if I wanted to bring change to the industry, I had to be the change. Money isn’t everything, so I stayed. (Remuneration, check; idealism, check.) Read the rest of this entry »
— Mohd Nazim Ganti Shaari
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 08, 2012
DEC 8 — Myth No.1: “Malays are guaranteed to receive all kinds of benefits, advantages and special treatment from the government (using taxpayers’ money) simply on the basis of their membership to the Malay tribe.”
It should be clear to anyone who has actually read Article 153 of the Federal Constitution that that particular view remains a myth. In fact, Article 153 focuses on both “special position of the Malays/natives of Sabah and Sarawak” together with “legitimate interests of other communities”. Anyone reading further than the constitution itself could and would discover that the framers of the constitution back in 1957 did not have any intention to enshrine it into permanency.
Furthermore, it was Umno who proposed for Article 153 to be reviewed after some time, the same opinion that was also shared by the Conference of Rulers. When one goes back to the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948, which gave birth to our present Article 153, one would similarly discover that the focus was both on the “special position of the Malays” AND (this writer’s emphasis) “legitimate interests of other communities”. Read the rest of this entry »
Jul 17, 2012
I am a proud former Administrative and Diplomatic Service (PTD) officer. I thoroughly enjoyed my service as a PTD officer when in the public services. In our day we were taught to assume the role and responsibility of policy advisers to the minister to whom we were fully accountable to. Therefore, during our time, when the minister, for example, said, “Jump,” we would not just ask, “how high?” but instead ask “why not run, or walk, or skip?”
I get the feeling, from today’s kind and quality of decisions being made, that most officers only proffer the minister three options on simply how to jump, instead of alternative policy options which include “the walking and skipping or running”. Therefore, today’s options are what I call “project-management options but not policy consideration options”.
Any such policy option would also stipulate the intended outputs of the agenda, some interpretation or evaluation of the potential impact, and even some plausible outcome related considerations with views about them.
My greatest fear today is that this kind and quality of public policy analysis is not fashionable any more. More fashionable are MBA-type project management potential costs and benefits calculation, but with all assumptions based on project level extrapolations which cannot be concretely tested or verified.
And when all these are reduced to numbers with a bottom line, they aid decision-making without a full review of all longer term considerations. Therefore, whether we call such projects PKFZ or the Cowgate or Syabas water supply; the so-called Public Policy Analysis stinks and therefore there is much that is rotten in the state of Malaysia!
Therefore and consequently, I am rather amused that the out-going public services chief was dismissed from his job and he apparently does not even know the reason. How can this be? Read the rest of this entry »
— Dr.Lim Teck Ghee
Jul 09, 2012
JULY 9 — New Straits Times group managing editor A. Jalil Hamid recently wrote an analysis of the recent changes in the civil service top leadership. The article titled ‘Of accountability in the civil service and putting people first’ ended with the lines “[t]hose in the public service can now look forward to a better and a more rewarding career as the country marches towards meeting the Vision 2020. We can now put the dark episode behind us”.
But has the dark episode ended? Although one prominent head has rolled, more were implicated in the salary revision debacle and should have been lopped off. Even with the latest attempt at salary revision, the basic problems besetting the civil service remain unresolved and continue to be kept out of the arena of public discussion and discourse. Read the rest of this entry »
— The Malaysian Insider
Jul 01, 2012
JULY 1 — Tan Sri Abu Bakar Abdullah is paying the price for the government’s New Remuneration Scheme that caused an uproar earlier this year. The ambitious scheme to reward the 1.4 million-strong civil service crumbled when unions pointed out that they were getting pittance while some 5,000 senior officers were getting stratospheric pay rises.
Putrajaya was forced to scrap the scheme, and in the process, also the move to get top people from the private sector to join the civil service at the top levels. After all, the new pay for the senior officials was benchmarked at the wages given for top white-collar professionals and managers.
While the Cabinet had approved the scheme and even announced it in Budget 2012 last year, they didn’t go through the proposals line by line. The resulting kerfuffle, to put it mildly, was squarely blamed at three men and one of them was Abu Bakar who is the Public Services Department (PSD) director-general.
It is understood the other two were former Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, and Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah.
Yet, Abu Bakar is the biggest loser. He was tipped to replace Mohd Sidek but the new pay scheme’s failure cost him that job. And he refused to go away quietly, sources said, insisting that if he was to be blamed for the salary fiasco, then so to must Sidek as it takes two to tango. And Wan Abdul Aziz for agreeing to the scheme. Read the rest of this entry »
— Lim Teck Ghee
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 29, 2012
JUNE 29 — In his first public interview since assuming the position of Chief Secretary to the Government, Dr Ali Hamsa said all the politically correct and bland things that one expects from someone eager to show Malaysians that he is up to the challenge of a big job.
From being a cheer leader attempting to rouse the morale of his troops (according to him, the performance of the civil service has been “excellent”) to sounding patriotic and humble (“We need to continuously raise the bar to be among the best…”; “we can’t treat what we do as a job as what we do must benefit all Malaysians”), the orchestrated and carefully calibrated interview with the New Straits Times was clearly meant to impress and get Malaysians on his side.
Unfortunately, it failed to address the two most important failings of the civil service. Read the rest of this entry »
— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 24, 2012
24 JUN — Baru sehari dua menjadi Ketua Setiausaha Negara (KSN) Dr Ali Hamsa sudah bercakap politik, sedangkan beliau adalah ketua kepada 1.4 juta perkhidmat awam yang sepatutnya tidak menyebelahi mana-mana pihak dan bekerjasama dengan sesiapa atau mana-mana parti yang dipilih rakyat.
Kakitangan kerajaan merupakan pelaksana kepada apa-apa dasar yang telah digubal oleh sesiapa yang memerintah yang diberikan mandat oleh rakyat.
Ali menyeru kepada semua kakitangan kerajaan supaya memberikan sokongan kepada kerajaan yang ada pada hari ini dan jangan mendengar janji-janji kosong dari pihak pembangkang. Walaupun beliau berasa berterima kasih kepada kerajaan kerana dijadikan KSN manggantikan KSN yang lama ia tidak bermakna Ali boleh menafikan hasrat rakyat yang ramai yang merupakan empunya kepada negara ini.
Penjawat awam itu pun kepunyaan rakyat dan dibayar gaji mereka oleh rakyat termasuk gaji Ali itu sendiri. Penjawat awam seperti Ali ini nampaknya mesti melalui kursus sivik yang asas untuk memahami apakah jenis negara dan sistem yang ada yang beliau akan tadbir ini. Read the rest of this entry »
— Gomen Man
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 24, 2012
JUNE 24 — I get it, Ali Hamsa. You are so thankful to Najib Razak for jumping over the queue of more senior civil servants to become the Chief Secretary that today you did something unprofessional: you urged your subordinates who are supposed to be non-partisan to become supporters of Barisan Nasional.
By doing so, you have forgotten about the great tradition of the Malaysian Civil Service, that great body which once upon a time produced stellar gentlemen as Abdullah Ayub, Malek Marican, Bhupinder Singh. Civil servants who understood that their loyalty was to King and country and the taxpayers.
That is why they were so careful with how government funds were used and why they fought off any attempts to turn the civil servants into puppets for politicians. Read the rest of this entry »
Dr Lim Teck Ghee
Can the government promise that all young Malaysians will be given fair treatment, and racial or regional discrimination will not be tolerated in order to encourage non-Malay recruitment into the civil service?
Once more the government appears to be clueless and befuddled as to why the non-Malay young do not want to take up civil service jobs. Once more, there will be a taskforce and a high-level committee at work to produce yet another report on how to attract non-Malays to join the service.
Once more the almost obligatory letters are appearing in the mainstream papers applauding the government (in this case) the Public Service Commission new chairman for his bold initiative in proposing a study “to nail down…the reasons for the poor number of applications from non-Bumiputeras for public and civil service jobs”. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 23, 2012
MARCH 23 — The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) today releases a new Policy Ideas briefing paper that calls for the civil service at federal and state levels to plan and prepare for a smooth transition of administration. This is particularly important as we get closer to the general elections.
The Policy Ideas briefing paper argues that a smooth transition is more than just a peaceful transfer of power. It is also about ensuring that the effective functioning of government does not become too disrupted during the transition period. It provides case studies on how transition was managed in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, and the strengths and weaknesses of the systems in these countries.
Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive of IDEAS says: “A clearly defined transition process is important. Politicians, especially those who are now in power, must accept that for the sake of the rakyat, they must create a proper transition plan. And looking at the latest developments, I think that it is more important to prepare in the states rather than federal because there is a chance we will see some states changing hands. Just imagine how disruptive it could be for the rakyat there if Kelantan or Sabah change hands. We can avoid the disruption by planning early.” Read the rest of this entry »
By Kee Thuan Chye
10 March 2012
Najib Razak has just committed another major flip-flop, showing once again that he is the most indecisive prime minister we have had so far.
He has cancelled the proposed revamp of the civil servants’ remuneration scheme and reverted to the old one, the Malaysian Remuneration System (SSM). So much for all his talk about reform.
The now-scrapped Public Service New Remuneration Scheme (SBPA) was mooted to reward civil servants with a pay rise but, more importantly, to keep them on their toes. Its key aim was to transform the civil service into an efficient, productive, competitive and high-performing entity. It was part of Najib’s transformation plans aimed at making Malaysia a high-income nation.
There was to be evaluation of the work of civil servants, and those who did not perform were to have faced the possibility of dismissal – under the SBPA’s Exit Policy. It would have helped to weed the chaff from the grain, to get rid of deadwood. And aptly too, since the civil service is bloated – with 1.4 million employees.
But the civil servants balked at this. They feared that their security of tenure, which they had become so pampered with, might be threatened.
Much more significant than that, those in the lower grades (up to Grade 54) were appalled to learn that under the new scheme, there would be a huge disparity between their salaries and those of the 2,600 officers in the higher grades – a disparity of more than 1,000%. In this case, their umbrage was justified.
Those in Grade 54 and below would receive increments of between 7% and 13%, while those in the upper levels, from Superscale C and above, would reportedly get increments of at least RM5,000.
It was also reported that some employees in the lower levels would be getting a pay rise of as little as RM1.70, whereas the Chief Secretary to the Government would have his salary upgraded to RM60,000 a month, and Staff Grade officers would end up getting about RM36,000 a month.
Naturally, a crisis arose from this. What was meant to be a boon for the civil servants turned out to be a bane for the Government. Read the rest of this entry »
— Mustafa K. Anuar
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 04, 2012
FEB 4 — Supposedly based on the UK National Health Service (NHS), the 1Care scheme is said to be aimed at financing the supposedly increasing costs of public health care while making it still affordable to the lower-income group.
But we fear that, like most other “restructuring” schemes in the past, 1Care will deliberately result in the escalation of costs to ordinary Malaysians and the outsourcing of contracts to corporate interests — financed by public funds.
The direct beneficiaries — private hospitals, health management organisations, pharmaceutical firms and those administering the national health financing fund — are likely to profit handsomely from this scheme at the expense of the public.
We recall how the costs of pharmaceuticals soared after the Government Medical Store was privatised in 1994. A similar rise was seen in the costs of general hospital support services after they were privatised. Read the rest of this entry »
Stephanie Sta Maria | January 31, 2012
Free Malaysia Today
KUALA LUMPUR: Cuepacs has set up an action committee as its latest step in its fight against the Public Service New Remuneration Scheme (SBPA).
A 15-member team, led by Cuepacs deputy president, Azih Muda, will present a paper on its recommendations to Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, by early March.
These recommendations were compiled during a two-day workshop on SBPA which was attended by all Cuepacs officials.
Cuepacs president, Omar Osman, told the media this afternoon that the paper would be based on the five items that Cuepacs has already submitted for review by the SBPA task force.
“The prime minister introduced the SBPA in the hope that it would be better than the Malaysian Remuneration Scheme (SSM) but instead it is the worst scheme we have ever seen,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »
By Yow Hong Chieh
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 23, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — Perlis Mufti Dr Juanda Jaya today lashed out at the civil service and Putrajaya after the National Registration Department (NRD) told him his daughter was not a Malaysian citizen.
The incident occurred earlier today when Juanda, who is Melanau, tried to renew his 12-year-old daughter’s identity card at the NRD office in Kuching.
“My child is stateless! What kind of system is this? Are we in Africa or chaotic Zimbabwe?” he said in a statement.
“At a time when many foreigners are said to have been given citizenship, my daughter who is a Melanau, a Sarawak Bumiputera whose right to citizenship is clearly preserved in the Constitution, is suddenly said not to be a Malaysian national.”
Juanda said that while his wife was an Indonesian citizen, there was no reason his young daughter should be victimised for this, especially since the NRD’s own records identified the child as a Melanau. Read the rest of this entry »
By S Pathmawathy | Jun 23, 11
A DAP parliamentarian has lauded Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s announcement of granting highly-coveted Public Service Department (PSD) at pre-university level.
In welcoming the move, Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara) described it as a way to “resolve the perennial scholarship conundrum”.
Every year many top ranking students complain of double standards in the awarding of PSD scholarships to students excelling in their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exams.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Dr Boo Cheng Hau
June 18, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider
JUNE 18 — I remember once, as a young medical officer, I was boycotted by operating theatre staff when I wanted stern action taken against a staff nurse who went for a kenduri when she was supposed to scrub for a surgery.
An assistant nurse had to cover up for her delinquent senior. Both the nurses — the one who had absented herself and the one suddenly forced to relieve her duty — were Malay. The young patient lying on my operating table waiting to deliver her baby was Malay too. And also Malay, the anaesthetist and other operating theatre staff who gave me the cold shoulder after I remonstrated with the matron. Read the rest of this entry »
By P Ramakrishnan
All citizens owe their loyalty to king and country – that includes civil servants. Civil servants are expected to serve the government of the day faithfully, irrespective of whichever party that forms the government.
They shouldn’t align themselves to any political party whether it is the ruling parties or the opposition parties. They should remain above politics and stay faithful to their vocation.
Their dedication should be to their profession and their commitment to serve and discharge their duties should not be wanting in any way.
This is how they preserve their integrity and safeguard their professionalism.
However this simple thing was not understood by the Johor State Director of Education, Markom Giran. He despicably attempted to force teachers to play a partisan political role. He was trying to corrupt the civil service. Read the rest of this entry »