Your 10 questions with Tan Sri Mahmood Adam


  • Business
  • Saturday, 16 Jun 2012

Public Services Commission chairman answers...

Can we re-introduce the ethnic ratio for recruitment into the public services sector?

Ethnic ratio was introduced mainly to ensure a higher participation of bumiputras in the public sector during post-independence era and as a tool to overcome economic imbalances in the country.

However, over the years, meritocracy took precedent.

All candidates who apply to serve in the public sector will be screened on their eligibility and suitability. For critical fields such as medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, the ratio of non-Malays to Malays is relatively high. To impose ethnic ratio will hinder our aspiration to acquire best talents to the public service.

What are the Public Services Commission's strategies to achieve “Lean Civil Servants”, as outlined by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak?

The Public Services Commission is responsible to ensure that all posts are filled by highly competent candidates who are adaptable and are able to multi-task.

Will the Public Services Commission consider appointing or recommending competent and high-performance non-bumiputra government personnel in the higher ranking posts in various departments as one of the ways to encourage more non-bumiputras to join the public services sector?

The Public Services Commission will consider any nominations by the ministries and agencies. However, the ministries and agencies must receive consent from the Public Services Commission on the criteria in which the nomination should be based before submitting it. We seek for the best candidates internally and externally.

In an effort to take our civil service further, which country or region would you benchmark against, in general and why?

Our benchmarking is based on the best practices throughout the world without any specific reference to any country or region as each country or region, including ours, is unique. We believe that learning from the best helps us to strengthen our strategies and enables us to carry out our roles effectively.

How can the transfer of professionals from the private sector to public sector be encouraged?

The Public Services Commission is implementing an open recruitment policy. This is to ensure that professionals who are interested to join the public sector are compensated with ranks and benefits equivalent to, or better than, that offered by the private sector.

What role, or roles, can civil servants play to enhance the country's competitiveness, and how passionate are they over this mission?

They must be able to emulate the best practices in every possible way. The many achievements so far in the Government Transformation Programme are by themselves, an obvious statement of their commitment and passion over this mission.

How are the civil servants responding to the Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme?

The civil servants are the backbone of Government programmes. It is vital that the initial changes or movements come from within; from people who believe that it can be done, and must be done, for the sake of the nation. Civil servants have played an integral part in all the changes you see today.

What are the five things you would like people to know about you?

I would like to be remembered as an open person, one who is approachable, transparent and enthusiastic about my job and a problem solver.

What are the issues in Malaysia that worry you the most? Why, and how do you think we should tackle that?

Unity. It is the fundamental element that brought Malaysia forward before. Unity will take us forward today and will always be (an important element for this country) in the future. Patriotism and sincerity are the key (to achieving unity).

What are the things you like most about your job? What are the toughest challenges you have faced, and how do you handle stress?

As a newcomer to the Public Services Commission, I am looking forward to ensure that all our efforts continue to be in tandem with the Government's and public's expectations. Understanding people is challenging but being a Muslim, I am certain that whatever difficulties come my way, I always have Him to turn to.


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