By Annie Freeda Cruez
Al-though the Government has provided civil servants with a modern working environment, various facilities and benefits including better salary schemes, the public sector’s achieve-ments are still far from excellent. This, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said, was mainly due to the attitude of civil servants.
"There are civil servants who have still not changed their attitude. This is a small group of people, but they put their own interests above the nation," he said at the National Joint Council General and Support Group biennial delegates conference at a hotel in Taman Maluri, here.
Samsudin's speech was read by Public Services Department directorgeneral Tan Sri Jamaluddin Ahmad Damanhuri.
This was distressing because complaints were still being received about civil servants who were underperforming, he said.
"Complaints such as civil servants not being efficient, unfriendly, cor-rupt, untrustworthy and many more are tarnishing the image of the public service, although the number is small," he added.
Samsudin said the Government had taken various measures such as making it mandatory for civil servants to declare assets, and organising activities to inculcate good and clean values, to fight corruption and other unhealthy traits among civil servants.
For Malaysia to be more competitive, the service sector must be more efficient, said Samsudin.
"More importantly the service sector must be customer-oriented, bureaucracy-free and clean," he added.
Samsudin said the public sector played an important role in the nation's economic growth.
"Its role is to make it easier for growth," he said.
He also stressed that investors and entrepreneurs would only invest in a country which was not only peaceful and harmonious but also had an administrative system that was capable, efficient and transparent.
"That is why the Government is serious in improving the public ser-vice system," he added.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had drawn up guidelines for the public service to ensure all its systems, regulations and working procedures were reviewed and improved.
He urged all heads of department to take immediate action to realise the directives drawn up by the Prime Minister.
He said the Government was willing and had proven its readiness to provide various facilities for civil servants to ensure they were more efficient and productive.
Besides providing a modern conducive working environment with sophisticated equipment, Samsudin said, the Government had provided other facilities such as housing with affordable rental, as could be seen in Putrajaya.
"This is in addition to other facilities and improvements to salary scheme and services introduced," he added.
Despite all this, Samsudin said the Government was still facing difficulties in developing the service sector — all because of the attitude of the civil servants.
Samsudin hoped civil servants would give their undivided support to the Government in the fight against unhealthy traits prevailing among civil servants.
The Government, he said, through various programmes organised by PSD, the National Institute of Public Administration and Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit, among others, would further boost public service to help it achieve a world class status.
"Our public service has attained a standard praised by many a nation because of the worker-employer relationship, which is harmonious.
"The Government works together with Cuepacs and other workers unions. We believe in meetings and discussions to resolve workers issues, thus preventing confrontations with the Government," he added.
NST, Wednesday, 18/2/2004