KUCHING: Malaysia’s public sector, ranked eighth most efficient globally, can learn from Singapore’s, which is ranked second most efficient by the World Economic Forum.
Chief Secretary Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa acknowledged that, as effective as the country’s various transformation programmes were, the civil service in Singapore was better.
“In this regard, Malaysia is aware that in order to develop and prosper, we cannot do it alone.
“We must seek partnerships with other countries in the world. We must be ready to seek advice and be open to learn from the experiences of other governments,” Hamsa said at the opening of the seventh Joint Seminar Programme for Malaysia and Singapore Public Sector Leaders.
“We thank our friends from the Singapore civil service for sharing their expertise in our own journey towards becoming a high-income nation by 2020.”
Hamsa was leading the Malaysian delegation of 45 civil servants from ministries, agencies and state secretaries to the conference here last weekend, held for the first time away from Kuala Lumpur and the island nation.
It also coincided with the 38th Public Service Games in celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries.
The theme of the seminar was “Innovation & Productivity”.
Singapore civil service head Peter Ong spoke about how technology reduces wastage, quite literally.
In trial in Singapore is an intelligent waste management system, with rubbish bins that are sensor equipped, able to detect how full they are.
“We are leveraging on technology to make better use of manpower resources.
“Earlier this year, our National Environment Agency started the ‘smart bins’ project so that we can channel manpower only to the bins that need attention,” Ong said at the seminar.
“This cuts back on areas that do not need attention. We know when bins are filled or empty. We can also better monitor whether rubbish collectors are doing their jobs.”
Ong said promoting life-long learning among civil servants these days meant encouraging all to understand technology.
He added that this was important with the global economic slowdown, during which all sectors would have to do more with less.
Other examples of how technology has helped improve productivity was at Singapore’s National Library, where the borrowing, retrieving and returning of books from the archive has been fully automated.
“This allows staff to do more valued-added jobs such as widening the reading choices.”
Meanwhile, state secretary Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani told reporters that the Singapore delegation had expressed interest to invest in Sarawak’s tourism.
Ghani said the state had been invited to Singapore for investment exploration talks.