MELAKA, Aug 15 — Datuk Idris Haron has a heavy task of driving Melaka to greater heights after taking his oath as chief minister on May 7.
His predecessor, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, had taken Melaka to developed status on Oct 20, 2010 and it was a challenge for Idris to take the historical state to the next level.
To strengthen the foundation established by Mohd Ali through the Progressive Melaka Plan 2003-2013, Idris introduced phase two of the plan for 2013-2023 to keep the development momentum under phase one.
The physical transformation of Melaka had been meteoric under Mohd Ali's administration which brought numerous successes, including employment opportunities through the investments of international companies such as Honda, Infineon Technologies and AOU Sunpower, apart from development in the tourism sector which resulted in Melaka being listed by The New York Times, as the 28th of 45 tourist destinations to visit in the world.
"I will maintain the transformation by building the human resources element to sustain the progress in Melaka," Idris told Bernama here in a recent interview.
Elaborating, he said the Melaka Government was determined to groom residents as first-class citizens with excellent mental and cultural outlook.
"We want to inculcate cultural excellence which is not easy, as it needs sacrifice, change in habits and change in mindsets," said the 10th Melaka chief minister. He said the 10-year plan would propel the people in Melaka to be subconciously competent to carry out cultural excellence without being aware of it.
"If we can visualise, say in 2016, the people would rather keep litter in their pockets than dirty the streets in Melaka," said the Sungai Udang state assemblyman.
Therefore, for the second phase of Progressive Melaka to succeed, four measures have been drawn up by the Melaka Government, involving parties from the chief minister to the rank-and-file to improve the existing products and services.
Firstly, it is to raise Melaka's quality of products and services to the highest possible level, exceeding the expections of customers who comprise investors, tourists and the people in the state.
"All (products and services) are currently good and quality will be the keyword in future," said Idris.
Secondly, he said, the system and mechanism of products and services in Melaka must be sustainable.
According to him, the system and mechanism for workers in the state needed constant improvement to ensure the products and services meet customer satisfaction.
Thirdly, he said, was the establishment of a conducive environment for customers to feel appreciated.
"As one enters the toll gate to Melaka, the landscape and public facilities will be seen in tip-top condition, as if Melaka is in a class of its own," he said.
Fourthly, he said, the people and workforce would be highly motivated and employees would carry out their tasks according to procedures to yield quality services.
On how he was going to maintain the momentum to see the Progressive Melaka Plan succeed, Idris said it involved the entire administration and was not only dependent on the Melaka chief minister.
He said his team of state government officials, heads of department and civil servants would help ensure the plan succeeded.
"In the case of an F1 driver, the support of thousands of other people behind the car is needed to ensure the car reached the finishing line. "I consider myself as a driver but more importantly, are my colleagues who help me to reach the 100th day, maybe the 1,000th day and the 10,000th day," he said. — Bernama