KUALA LUMPUR: Public sector jobs are no longer considered “safe” as the current government and society expect more from them.
Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Sidek Hassan said public officials were now forced to re-look at how they do business, including doing away with redundancies.
He added that merit had become very important in a globalised and competitive world.
“When I first joined 36 years ago, public service was not the best-paying job, but it was almost a ‘guaranteed’ job as long as you didn’t commit a big boo-boo until retirement,” he told reporters Friday after meeting with delegates from the Muslim Council of Britain.
However, there was now higher expectation of the public sector and civil servants had no choice but to improve or be replaced, he said.
“If you don’t perform, we will have to find better ways to make you perform. If we don’t do things as expected, other people will do those things,” he said.
“Where public sector jobs was once seen as ‘safe’, it is not the case anymore in Malaysia,” he added.
He said the highest-ranking officers in the civil service needed to make their contact details public so they were accessible by e-mail and phone.
“Complainants must receive a response within 48 hours. We engage all media – print and online alike. We need to clarify queries raised both through media and complaints bureaus.
“In short, nothing is sacrosanct to probing and questioning,” he said.
Sidek said the public sector needed to drive the private sector by setting higher standards of service delivery.
He warned against complacency although Malaysia now was ranked 23 out of 185 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, 24th in the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness ranking and 10th in the Swiss-based IMD competitive ranking.
“Although we are ahead of countries like China, Italy, New Zealand in our competitiveness, it is still not good enough,” he said.
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