Monday, April 02, 2007

Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Sidek Hassan Is Acting Like An Umno Politician

Well, well, well. It looks like civil servants have also picked up the arrogant, "you shall never ever criticize me and make my bloopers public" bad habit from our politicians! The following report in the Malay Mail explains why.

‘Don't issue a directive if you don’t like the results.’ This was the general sentiment of the public when asked to comment on the reaction by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan to reports in The Malay Mail last week.

On March 28, The Malay Mail had contacted 10 Government agencies from numbers listed on their websites to see if they were adhering to Mohd Sidek’s directive to Government departments to improve services. The paper tested if the agencies picked up telephone calls to their respective departments within three rings, which was one of the directives issued.

Of the 10, six passed the ‘test’ while Social Security Organisation, the Employees Provident Fund, Public Service Department and National Higher Education Fund failed. The Housing and Local Government Ministry, Welfare Department, Road Transport Department, Immigration Department, Education Ministry and the Consumer Claims Tribunal passed the test.

Many cited the large number of calls daily as the reason for operators not being able to pick up the phone by the third ring.

Following the series of reports, a reporter from The Malay Mail was summoned to Mohd Sidek’s office in Putrajaya, where the latter labelled the tests carried out by the paper as “doing a disservice to the country.” He also said highlighting the explanations of the agencies that had failed the ‘tests’ were not beneficial to the public sector.

***** Who does the Chief Secretary think he is? The number one public servant or a cheapskate Umno politician? How dare he summon a member of the press and then demand that the truth about the inefficiency of government departments be not published. And that too with the excuse of “doing a disservice to the country.” If he genuinely had the long term interest of the public in mind, he would have instead thanked the Malay Mail for doing a great public service by exposing bureaucratic shortcomings, as well as opening his eyes to the blatant ignoring of his directive. If his writ doesn't run even in the corridors of the recalcitrant and remarkably fossilized government departments, what hope has he of trying to smother the issue by summoning the press?

The Chief Secretary had better make up his mind and decide once and for all if he wishes to stay where he is or would prefer a different role as a politician. I'm sure the civil service can easily find a suitable replacement even today.

Read the entire Malay Mail article HERE.
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