The civil service must prepare for change of government

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.”

In the short term, IDEAS proposes that:

1. Civil service must conduct detailed scenario planning to explore the different possible election outcomes.

2. Senior civil servants at both state and federal levels must hold confidential meetings with opposition leaders to start building trust and identify priorities

3. The focus has to be at state level because it is likely that there will be changes at state level in the coming elections.

In the long term, IDEAS proposes that:

1. A transition guideline must be developed on a cross-party basis detailing the processes involved before and immediately after elections to ensure smooth changeover.

2. Politicians at both state and federal levels should be trained on the inner-workings of the civil service.

* IDEAS is the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs.

  1. #1 by GodIsWatching on Saturday, 24 March 2012 - 12:35 am

    This is very enlightening to learn of the initiatives by IDEAS. The seriousness of its pursuits is commendable. I guess it can be likened to the commercial world where industries have to brace for transitional circumstances referred for reasons of business continuity management.
    In the case of BN, it’s essentially the SOP before they tutup gerai … And the quickness of a more effective administration stepping in to do business unusual from the good ol’ “I scratch my crony’s back and my crony scratch my back”
    To be more effective, this should be cascaded to every segment of society not just civil service as it is indeed a significant transition from darkness into the light!

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Saturday, 24 March 2012 - 5:22 am

    How 2 CHANGE 1 lah? So used 2 BUTA GAJI, easy leg shaking job, 4444
    Even during office hours, can hv long kopi break n go 2 hotels hv fun like ex-minister 1
    Civil servants almost like d backbone n flag bearers of UmnoB mah

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 24 March 2012 - 7:31 am

    I like the idea of the civil service formally meeting up with opposition leaders to discuss issues.

  4. #4 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Saturday, 24 March 2012 - 9:18 am

    Will umnoputras stay on to cause trouble? Hmmmm… hard to say. For one thing they are too fat and clumsy to fight. In any event they hv led a life of comfort and grand style for far too long for them now to come out fighting. So no. It is unlikely that they would fight to stay on. Of course they may continue to play politics, esp now when umno is still in control. They will of course pull out the dirtiest tricks available. When they out of office and hence no longer in control of the government machinery – i.e. when umno is voted out – they would just run away, I suspect, leaving a core of grassroot supporters to fight and cause trouble. In other words, umno will simply disintegrate.

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Saturday, 24 March 2012 - 9:21 am

    Yeah, they (civil servants) must be prepared to undo all the brainwashing imparted to them by the BN government down through the decades.

  6. #6 by limkamput on Saturday, 24 March 2012 - 10:20 am

    Sometimes, research papers are so devoid of reality. Which senior government servants would want to engage and discuss with opposition leaders now? Right now, the government servants are not even able to make impartial decisions, how then can we expect them to hold talks with opposition leaders? It is also farfetched to expect the government servants to let the politicians know the inner working of the civil service. Politicians appointed to positions in Ministries and agencies must simply get to know their authority and job scope fast. No, I don’t the civil service is going to think for you a transition plan if there is a change in government both at the federal and state levels. They are too lazy, too ingrained and lack of experience to do thing like this.

  7. #7 by limkamput on Saturday, 24 March 2012 - 10:22 am

    sorry missing word….No, I don’t think the civil service is going to think…….

  8. #8 by sotong on Saturday, 24 March 2012 - 11:44 am

    Majority, those holding high positions, are happy with the current environment….inefficient and weaknesses in the systems seen as ” opportunities “.

    Change will come very slowly. Maybe another 20 years to see significant change, provided you start now.

  9. #9 by tak tahan on Saturday, 24 March 2012 - 8:59 pm

    How to change when most if not all the top civil servants are blind loyalist to Umno leaders.They serve no one,not even the ordinary citizens except Umno taikos.Surely the lower rank civil servants will take the order from the top and make sure their collective agenda is met.Why not further ask assurance in ‘black and white’ from the top ‘flip-flop’ man to ensure smooth transition of govenment whether in state or federal?

    A ‘black and white’ assurance from the bapa u-turn will surely beat the outcome of the supposed scenario planned by the civil servants.But the question is-can bapa ‘u-turn’ turn something like ‘black and white’ to ‘white and black’?You guess.

  10. #10 by raven77 on Monday, 26 March 2012 - 1:15 am

    Ours is a Malay civil service…

    You have to change it back to a Malaysian one, and until that happens, we can rest ensured, BN will loose power…

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