PUTRAJAYA: The Prime Minister wants civil servants to improve their performance to counter the perception that their efficiency has dipped.
“Today, I read that the civil servants are not as efficient as before.
“Maybe there is some truth to it, maybe not.
“But instead of ‘melenting’ (losing one’s cool), let us take what is pointed out to us and see if there is any basis to it.
“If there is, let’s correct ourselves and improve our performance,” said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his address to the staff of the Prime Minister’s Department at the monthly gathering here yesterday.
Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Bakar and Public Service Department director-general Datuk Seri Borhan Dolah.
While the Prime Minister did not specifically mention the source, he is believed to be referring to the report by the World Bank, which noted that the performance of Malaysia’s civil service has been declining since 2014.
The report also ranked Malaysia lowly in its indicators for accountability, impartiality as well as the transparency and openness of its public service.
On Monday, The Star quoted the World Bank report which also expressed concerns about the sustainability of the country’s public sector wage bill.
The report came about following the visit of World Bank vice-president for East Asia and Pacific Victoria Kwakwa to Malaysia last December during which she met the Prime Minister.
In his speech, Dr Mahathir urged the staff of the Prime Minister’s Department to be considerate, tolerant and accept differences while carrying out responsibilities to help administer the nation.
He said to ensure a peaceful and conducive working environment, one must be tolerant of each other.
“If we cannot be tolerant and are not willing to be considerate with one another, it will be difficult for us to carry out our tasks.
“On the contrary, if we can accommodate differences, we can surely carry out or work with ease,” he added.
The Prime Minister also pointed out the importance of good relations between higher-ranking officers and their subordinates.
“If there is no understanding, then work will be hard,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said Pakatan Harapan is a new government which took over from a political coalition which had been in power for 61 years.
“There are problems which we have managed to resolve. But the issue of relations between the old and the new must be resolved.
“If there are things that we are not comfortable with, we need to resolve it to create greater cooperation between us so that the country can be managed well.
“All of us will benefit from a good and effective administration,” he said.