Message to Malaysian Civil Servants–Stand Up and be Counted

February 27, 2016

Message to Malaysian Civil ServantsStand Up and be Counted

by Pola Singh

 Malaysian Civil Servants–Pak Turuts and  Pak Hunggoks

FOR some unexplained reason, civil servants are reluctant to be seen with the rakyat in championing certain causes; no matter how worthy they are. Something is preventing them from showing their support.

Take for instance preserving and protecting the remaining green lungs in KL city; Bukit Kiara (BK) located in the heart of the city is a good example.

At the national level, the Cabinet in 2007 agreed to gazette 189 hectares to turn it into a public park. But things moved at a snail’s pace with parcels of land being given out to the well-connected through the years.

We now learn that the Government will finally gazette Bukit Kiara next year and not surprisingly only 159ha will be gazetted. The rakyat is also not sure whether this hectarage figure will remain intact when it comes to crunch time.

So in order to send a strong message to the powers that be to uphold their promise to gazette Bukit Kiara speedily, Friends of Bukit Kiara (FoBK) has so far organised three “Save Bukit Kiara” walks. Although a sizeable crowd turns up, there are hardly any civil servants participating in such an event. Why? If they don’t seem to be interested, why are the heads of departments not encouraging their officers and staff to support such worthy causes especially when they are in line with their own policies and what they expound.

For instance agencies such as the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and ministries such as the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry have formulated clear green and environmental policies while City Hall (DBKL) and Jabatan Landskap Negara have developed the KL Master Plan to implement.

When announcing the sound policies, promises are made and assurances given that they will actively engage the key stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the policies.

But when such opportunities arise they are nowhere to be seen. It appears as if they are disinterested to push forward their policy agenda.

Now it looks like that only the NGOs and public support such causes while the policy formulators who should be actively involved at the ground level appear indifferent.

Why are the civil servants so reluctant to turun padang but instead seem content watching from a distance? After all it is their cause that the rakyat is supporting. By right they should be turning up in full force as well as helping in organising such events.

Is it fear? Are they afraid for reasons best known to them, to be seen mingling with personalities from NGOs? Or could they think that they might incur the wrath of certain well-connected people? Or is it simply a case of plain apathy?

Whatever it is, the mind-set has to change. Heads of departments should encourage their officers and staff to take part in such meaningful events as well as intermingle with like-minded rakyat. More importantly these departments and agencies must walk the talk.

On an individual personal basis and as a concerned citizen, aren’t they prepared to play their part to protect and preserve the green lungs so that their children, grandchildren and future generations can enjoy what they are currently enjoying.

12 thoughts on “Message to Malaysian Civil Servants–Stand Up and be Counted

  1. Civil serpents, uhh… I mean, servants in Malaysia don’t serve the people. They merely serve a) the politicians who order them around, or b) themselves.

    How many of you have had the experience of facing some surly civil servant behind a counter for some administrivia i.e stamping a passport, etc? You get the feeling that they were there doing a favour for you or something. Zero customer service philosophy. Little people with little napoleon mindsets. Ugh.

  2. To answer your question, someone should ask civil servants whether they believe Najib and/or trust UMNO. It’s very likely the 34% of ” informed” voters are mostly civil servant.

    In other words, its corruption. This is what corruption does. It makes people care less, care not for things that the powers over them care for. Not having a mind or conscience if their own

  3. I am sure we have civil servant that’s principle and incorruptible. However, these are very rare breed. Even headmaster needs to bribe to be transfer to better schools. Also, we have headmaster that takes bribe from books supplier back in the 80s. Good luck finding a few good civil servants.


  4. Quote:- “Civil serpents, uhh… I mean, servants in Malaysia don’t serve the people”

    That’s why it’s called “Kerajaan” They are the “Rajas”

  5. Hi again Wayne!
    In Singapore (perhaps Indonesia too?) the word they use for government is “pemerintah”. I could never get used to hearing that. Jars me slightly, I’m not certain why.

  6. With the answering machines at every agency and government departments and ministries to respond to ones call is helping the civil minded officers to relax and to have tea time while the cost for the phone of the caller keeps burning money just for an answer to clarify certain matter(s). The uncivilized lazy civil service in Malaysia is to serve their masters

    It has become robotic in their approach to customers in civil service with this installation of machines to answer and this is frustrating and disgusting after getting the response and the next moment it gets disconnected and we are forced to start all over again for an indefinite period of time and the response is ‘all our officers too busy and we’ll connect you in the next available time’. These are daily woes of ordinary people with these agencies both in the private and public services.

    Most unusual answer from the front office will be in vain to get the bosses because the reply will be stereotype like ‘boss’ is in the meeting’ or the officer you intend to meet or speak ‘went out for meeting’. This is our civil service and that of private sector today.

    You can’t get telephone numbers of the Heads of Departments to complain because your request will be filtered by the front office. It is too much to bear in the event of emergency. We really need complete transformation to justify better service.

    When he was was Chief Secretary, Tun Ahmad Sarji introduced TQM (Total Quality Management) hoping to make the civil service function like Toyota Company.It was the Civil Service’s Look East Policy. All Ministries, departments and agencies were required to have Vision and Mission Statements and Client Charters which were appropriately framed and displayed at reception counters. These became artifacts and a big joke now. But the Immigration Department, SOCSO/PERKESO and EPF, however,took them seriously and their service is great today. I found Immigration, EPF and SOCSO staff very efficient, friendly, and courteous. I can’t, however, say that of the rest of the civil service.

    It is worth remembering that the Anglophile Tun Ahmad Sarji was also responsible for making the civil service a willing stooge or barua of UMNO. He was seen at UMNO General Assembly and other function rubbing shoulders with Mahathir and other leaders.

    Mamak Ali Hamsa made the civil service worse because he pandered to the whims and fancies of Rosmah Mansor, the de facto Prime Minister of Malaysia. We have now Blue Ocean Strategy, which turned out to be the way to be corrupt the Najib Way and Idris Jala’s Transformational PEMANDU.–Din Merican

  7. Quote:- “I found Immigration, EPF and SOCSO staff very efficient, friendly, and courteous”

    Yes, you are right. Credit where credit is due, especially EPF where for the many visits I made, the front line staff were always cheerful, helpful and efficient. Syabas to the director-general.

    Which are the departments perceived to be more corrupt than others? Customs, Road Transport, Police? Could it be that incidents of corruption are directly proportional to higher accessibility to kickbacks? A no-brainer I suppose.

    However, in our still feudalistic culture, the top political leaders are the ones who has to set the example. At the present moment many civil servants, high and low, will be asking themselves why be so clean? After all…………………

    But the reality is that if they are caught, they will charged and punished. The UMNO politicians do it with impunity. That is the difference. The top brass escape and the minions suffer.–Din Merican

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.