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Maximizing public interests

  • Public services must not only concentrate on raising productivity but also respecting the needs of all citizens.

Sin Chew Daily

JPA announced that working hours of federal government departments would be extended by 30 minutes to 6pm with the hope the new measure would enhance government service efficiency while making working hours of civil servants more flexible.

The positive effects of such a policy are highly anticipated. As a matter of fact, the efficiency of our public services has been anything but desirable all these years. The excessively bloated civil service team is unfortunately not reflected in its efficiency while the lax attitude of civil servants have frustrated many, including investors.

The situation has somewhat improved in more recent years, especially after the government introduced the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) in 2009 to gradually cut back bureaucracy through 116 measures in a bid to avert squandering of public resources and manpower.

The most prominent example is the urban transformation centers (UTC) providing one-stop services for the people, unlike in the past when different government departments operated individually with minimal interactions. This new measure has helped the government save cost, provide speedy and more effective services to the people.

By readjusting the working hours of civil servants, it is anticipated that government offices will be able to provide even better services to the people, who will no longer have to rush to government counters to get their chores done before they close, bringing down their own job efficiency while making the counters packed with long lines of people.

Additionally, it is also very considerate on the part of the government to allow civil servants to have more flexible working hour arrangements. This will inspire them to work harder and more effectively while still able to spend quality time with their families.

According to the new public services principles by researchers in public services, civil servants must first understand that they are serving members of the public, not ordinary commercial customers.

The public services sector not only must respond to the needs of ordinary citizens but also strive to establish mutual trust and cooperation with them.

As such, public services must not only concentrate on raising productivity but also respecting the needs of all citizens so that government policies and programs can be more effectively carried out for the ultimate benefits of the rakyat.

The effects of NBOS and civil service transformation are expected to be more pronounced following the introduction of the new measure. However, as I said earlier, public interests are of paramount importance in addition to boosting productivity and job efficiency.

In this regard, the other aspects that need to be further improved include enhanced transparency, stronger civic consciousness, batting corruption, adoption of sophisticated new technologies to enhance management and delivery system, and lifting the overall public services quality through meritocracy, to ensure the effectiveness of the country's public services sector could be fully manifested.

 

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