I AM rather bewildered by the Governments decision to appoint a Harvard University team to strengthen our public delivery system, Reduce bureaucracy and improve civil service efficiency (The Star, March 22), for three major reasons.
First, we do not need armchair academicians who lack an in-depth understanding of our public sector work environment and unique challenges to provide us a cookbook recipe for creating high-performance public organisations.
In this regard, I am reminded of the International Monetary Fund solution to the Asian financial crisis of 1997. Fortunately for Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was wise to ignore the advice of IMFs experts.
Second, the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit, the Public Service Department and the National Institute of Public Administration have a good record of successfully spearheading numerous civil service reforms and conducting various training programmes during the last two decades, which have resulted in vast improvements in the public delivery system.
We have the local expertise to further improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our civil service.
The Government should demonstrate greater confidence in these agencies rather than waste valuable funds on paying foreign consultants. What happened to Malaysia Boleh?
Third, our top civil servants are fully aware of the fundamental changes required to further strengthen our public delivery system.
What we need is the political will to institute the necessary changes.
Greater emphasis should be laid on hiring competent people and creating a work culture that brings out the best in people and is conducive to continuous quality improvement.
To my mind, the greatest challenge is in inculcating a strong work ethic among public sector employees to produce high quality work, meet work deadlines, maintain integrity, to be customer-oriented and to have a sense of urgency, and being proactive.
RANJIT SINGH MALHI,