Saturday, January 06, 2007

Blame it on the Civil Service

It's not the leadership's fault. It's the civil service delivery system. And this is headline news for the New Straits Times (NST).

Home Affairs Minister Datuk Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's plans were “first class”. However, there were weaknesses in the implementation of the government’s plans by the civil service and added that “this had been the case for a long time.”
"The weakness in the delivery has been happening even before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s time. There are weaknesses in government institutions. Those who are in charge of executing the plans sometimes misunderstand the decisions made by the policymakers. They fail to see the reason behind the policies, and this leads to a lot of confusion and misdirection," Radzi said.
Apparently this view was supported at a seminar entitled "National Seminar on Abdullah Ahmad Badawi: Three Years in Putrajaya: Tracking the Country’s Future", by certain academics and political analysts.

Lecturer Dr Sivamurugan Pandian of the School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, claims that the policymakers and the executioners of the policies are “distinct bodies”, hence the point of failure.

Social Institute of Malaysia director Professor Dr Mohamed Fadzil Che Din said "there are parties who try to take advantage of the prime minister’s soft and accommodative administration.”
"They interfere with the time-frame of the implementation of the policies by making their own claims on the government, slowing down or even putting a stop to the implementation."
The simple question I have then is, is our Home Affairs Minister telling us that the leadership of this country is not responsible for the civil service? Is the civil service an independent branch of the Government which the “first class” leadership has no control over? In fact, the simple admission the weak delivery system has been a problem for the longest time by the Home Affairs Minister, only proves the incompetence of the leadership.

“First class” plans without a “first class” delivery system will only prove to be a “first class” failure of governance. Nobody could be more responsible for the quagmire than the “first class” leadership of the Prime Minister.
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