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Sakmongkol ak 47

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

A short note on our Civil Service

Before I comment on the email of the Chinese Gentleman from JB, here is a last point I want to raise on the e mail by the Malay gentleman.

And before that, something on the civil service. Although I have said the character of our civil service is such and such, this is an overall characterization. This overall characterization is caused unfortunately by the dominating forceful individuals. Either at the top which gives the civil service a haughty character or at the bottom- the lay-abouts, the corner cutters, the lazybones who give the character of mediocrity.

Perhaps, these are the elements that made up half of the civil service. Having said that, it would be irrational on my part and on the part of others to infer and impute that our civil service is rotten absolutely. In the course of my previous vocation I have met many public service driven individuals in the civil service. They are committed to efficiency, integrity and dedicated service. I salute them. so my general criticism on the civil service doesn't erase the good side of the public service. Those instances cited by some commentators on the exemplary services by civil servants are the ones that must be cultivated so as to form the overall character of our Civil Service. Right now, my contention is, we haven't reach a tipping point whereby they could characterize our civil service.

I am not all anti civil service . my late father was a chief clerk serving several departments in Kuantan. My siblings and I grew up with the salary earned through his job as a civil servant. I have the deepest of respects for those selfless public service driven individuals who worked tirelessly and honestly. It is the rotten ones, who give the civil service a bad name.

This is what we demand of our civil service and it must be demanded through good leadership of the civil service.


Anonymous,  28 July 2010 at 11:28  

i think you also have to take note of political masters v civil servant..see, the word denotes master and servant relationship..also you have to bang those lobbyists, good for nothing people who dont qualify but utilises masters to force the good for nothing servants into their whims and facies just to protect their jobs and posts..the No.1 servant have stated his stand on this..when will the No.1 master follow suit..the No.1 master should be the one shouting the loudest..

Anonymous,  28 July 2010 at 12:07  

Yes, yes, I fully agree with you that there are some very fine civil servants... dedicated, helpful and some even go out of their way to help you, BUT they are few such men and women.
I have come across quite a few wonderful gentlemen (and one lady) in JPJ. Very efficient and I would give JPJ an 'A minus'.

Second would be the Registration Dept. I met one fine gentlemen in JB some years ago.He was pleasant and treated me more like a friend that a client.
Normally, I would send these men a thank you cards or letters of appreciation.

However, most civil servants are rude on the phone. Perhaps because we don't see their faces.
The worst are the Immigration Officers at the JB check point.
I met one such men some years ago. His name tag said "GHANI". He was shouting and screaming that he was tired and we were causing him problems.

Quiet Despair,  28 July 2010 at 13:17  

Dear Sak

Like you, I too am indebted to the Malayan Civil Service (MCS) which My late dad had served well and contributed to me and my siblings well-being.
We come from a long line of civil servants from both sides of the family beginning from late great-grandpa's time.
Though I have never served the government, many sibilings, immediate family and relatives have served or are still serving the government.
Nothing can compare with the government as good paymasters from the cradle to the grave.
My late gandma and now my mum are enjoying all the perks in addition to the government pension.
Undoubtedly, Government officers of days of yore did not look for personal glories but only as Saya yang menurut perintah.
They inherited from the British the class, the finesse and polish of goverment bureacrats.
But to be fair, there are still many in the governmet service who are serving the government diligently.
It must be noted ever since Tun M's time, the goverment service are more efficient and have cut their many, many bureaucratic red tapes.
There are no more long waits in hospitals, government clinics, immigration, or other public utilities body.
Under Najib, we hope they will be first class workers in line with the transformation to a progessive world-class nation.

Anonymous,  28 July 2010 at 14:10  

In the old days, there were only a small number of rotten apples in the civil service. Today, there are only a small number of good apples in the civil service. How time has changed.

Anonymous,  28 July 2010 at 14:23  


I have 6 civil servants in my family. 4 of them were examplary, 1 was so so. I had told the last one that if I were her boss, I would sack her. She was a good worker but but had terrible discipline. 4 out of 6 were not too bad. 3 were God-fearing, the other one was very patriotic.

The govt is now paying my hubby's salary but he is supposed to be independent. His performance is tip top but will he be rewarded for out-performing his given KPI? I don't think so. I think it is the Govt that encourages mediocrity.


Non-partisan,  28 July 2010 at 14:44  

Your last posting has provoked a spectrum of responses from your followers some of which are very unkind and demeaning.

Anyway, in this posting you have summed it well with a very fair and unbiased view.

Anonymous,  28 July 2010 at 15:04  

I am a civil servant. And I hate the stereotype opinions that people have on us. But they cannot be blamed, because this attitude among the civil servants is embedded into their souls. Nonetheless, there are many department leaders out there who try very, very hard to change this attitude and mentality. Especially if the department deals mostly with the private sectors and people from abroad. Then I learned that, to hell with what others think, but I must not be like that. I am an honest and dedicated government officer who is very proud to serve the people.

donplaypuks® 28 July 2010 at 17:27  

My father was a civil servant too and certainly the word 'lazy' or 'inefficient' could not be applied to him.

Lately my experience at Income Tax, Immigration and EPF have been very, very good!

But how can a nation of 27 million entertain and justify a civil service head count of 1.2 million which is about 10% of the total workforce? Productivity must be in the pits!

The true cost of salary, perks, free medical benefit AND pension runs into billions of $. Don't forget there the GLC's to contend with too!

The Govt should start from zero base budgetting and determine what is the international norm for civil servant: population ratio. The excess should be retrenched and re-trained for private sector jobs or productive new public sector jobs that can be justified from both social and commercial aspects.

we are all of 1 race, the Human Race

Anonymous,  28 July 2010 at 19:54  

Bad apples are not confines solely to the civil service.There are also bad apples in the private sector.The difference is , in the private sector its either u shape up or u ship out, but the civil servents even though have been warned beforehand to shape up they know for certain that its is difficult for a civil servent to be shipped out.
Thus, the attitude problem prevails among the workforce.Add that to the many anak sedara, anak pak penakan, waris, adik-beradik etc , there we do not have the cream of the crop.The very best are not selected.Its all about who u know and who u know can help u pull certain strings to get u a gomen job.

Anonymous,  28 July 2010 at 21:11  

The Malaysian (errr. Malay) Civil Service has a life of its own.

Only the govt in power can change the corporate culture of the civil service.

The present malaise in the civil service is due to enabling politicisation of the bureaucrat, began from the first day of the Mahathir regime.

Only a change in govr can the civil service be reformed.

The arrogance of the civil servants in Opposition held states is testimony to the controlling power held by the political parties ie UMNO in the central govt.

Any talk about trying to reform the civil service is wiishful thinking and waste of time... of little consequence.

Simple question: Do you think UMNO-BN leaders/Ministers would REALLY want to change the civil service to be neutral, objective and apolitical???

The bureaucrats know which side of the bread is being buttered. And of course, their decision whether to be neutral and profession is predicated by their decision whether they can put food on their family's table by working in the private sector.

Anonymous,  28 July 2010 at 21:11  


I fully agree not all the civil servants are bad. There are dedicated one who are brilliant and efficient in their own expertise field which i must admit.But the main problem is the inteference of Political Master who has the personal agenda to fulfill their own selfish ambition by putting their cronies or affliates in the special position where they cannot perform.This is where the rot started. All Civil Servant must serve without fear or favour regardless of their colour or creed. Aren't we all Malaysian.

uppercaise 28 July 2010 at 23:34  

Dato Sak, your postings continue to set an example for reasoned and thoughtful political discourse. If I may add to the discussions, in my posting at my blog today, I said the State Development Officer should rightly be chastised for breaching civil service neutrality, by attending an Umno function. But the State Secretary of Penang should also be chastised for allowing his office to be used for a Pakatan Rakyat publicity brochure. Pakatan should not mix up Govt and party. With regards.

Anonymous,  29 July 2010 at 08:06  

pekeje gomen, sori la. saya tak tabik langsung. Takde dalam keluarga saya pekerja gomen. Kena tibai dengan gomen jerr... semua kena tax.. kena bayar tax... tapi service gomen teruk... keje makan gaji swasta @ kerja sendiri je... tulis kat pokok getah kampung ke bersawah ke.. itu je lah... dari bos gomen sampai keanak gomen.. soooo sori... tak tau nak kata apa dah... pak borek anak rintik... pak kencing berlari anak kencing atas moto ala2 superman... ada paham SAK...

Anonymous,  29 July 2010 at 21:37  

When it comes to the Civil Service it is always the other person who is inefficient and lazy. Our government -led ptivatization policy has allowed this bad governance to flow into the private sector through the palcement of ex-civil servants on the Board of Directors.

The banks are supposed to be at the front when it comes to placing the best foot forward for the country. After my recent experience I am not so sure. I went to one of the leading banks to get the company statement of accounts for a certain year. I had to sign a slip to deduct RM50.00 form the company account and the statement was only made available three days later.Can any bank expalin why it takes three days to get the statement after I have paid RM50.00 Ramalx

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