PM wants civil service to reject mediocrity

Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks at a National Transformation 2050 (TN50) dialogue session with civil servants in Putrajaya. ― Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks at a National Transformation 2050 (TN50) dialogue session with civil servants in Putrajaya. ― Bernama pic

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PUTRAJAYA, May 31 ― Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants the Malaysian civil service to push itself to the limit or beyond the limit, and to reject the mediocrity of being easily satisfied with “more or less” or “okay”.

Admitting that he would not be able to be an effective prime minister without an effective civil service, Najib said he wanted creative and innovative solutions to achieve the targeted quantum leap for the country.

“If we can do something collectively, the output will definitely be bigger, encompassing and more meaningful.

“We must always look for innovative and creative solutions,” he said at a National Transformation 2050 (TN50) dialogue session with civil servants, here, today.

The dialogue went on in a packed hall with the attendance of about 1,300 civil servants and conducted by the Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa.

Citing the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC), the prime minister said the initiative was a creative solution to give the best services to the public, besides building a competitive spirit among the government departments and agencies under one roof.

“The UTC is recognised worldwide and no countries have been able to do the UTC like Malaysia does.

“The UTC is awesome, as the productivity increases as there are departments side by side and there are various departments under one roof, hence creating a sense of competition,” he said.

Najib hoped the civil service would not resist change so that Malaysia would not be left behind.

He said among a host of creative initiatives was the Uber service which started with only two cars in San Francisco, United States but which now had three million vehicles operating daily in scores of countries with returns amounting to over US$62 billion (RM265 billion).

Najib also stressed the vital need for every government department and agency to cooperate with one another, besides upholding and implementing government policies.

“For example, there are too many funds set up in the government and we want to merge them into one. But the ministries with such funds would want to defend and keep them as they feel these are their turf or their own programmes.

“It's whether we are willing to sacrifice a bit of our influence or power but will be beneficial for the country and people. Do we have that kind of mindset in our civil service?” he said.

The prime minister also stressed the need for civil servants with certain skills like managing big data in administration to be more focused on the people's needs.

He said civil servants, as regulators, should also have the kind of mindset as facilitators, so that they would appeal more to the people.

During the two-hour dialogue session, various views and suggestions were put forward by the civil servants present from different departments and agencies on their aspirations for Malaysia in the next 30 years.

Among the views expressed were empowering further the education system so as to produce future generations with good character and values, and strengthening the transportation and healthcare systems.

“I find this dialogue session with young civil servants to be stimulating, more so as many have tried to draw up Malaysia's aspirations towards 2050,” said Najib. ― Bernama

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