Friday, May 25, 2007

Civil Service Excellence II

Purely due to coincidence, I was invited to be part of a roundtable discussion forum by Oriental Daily on Wednesday evening to discuss the issues relating to the record pay increment granted to the civil service. The other two participants were very experienced professionals and business owners who have been involved in town planning as well as engineering consultancy services for many years.

Mr Goh Bok Yen is a well-respected town and transport planning consultant who has obviously dealt with many many government civil service departments. Similarly, Ir Yong Yew Wei of Ismail dan Rakan Rakan, an engineering consultancy firm has had his share of experiences.

It was a discussion which lasted past 11pm, which included a teh tarik session at a mamak stall near the Oriental Daily office at Wisma Dang Wangi. The highlights of the discussion is published in today's copy of the Chinese paper. Do get a physical copy, if anything for the well presented charts alone.

Interestingly enough, Soon Li Tsin of Malaysiakini was quick to the draw to reconstruct the chart which made a comparison between Malaysia and many other countries in the region earlier this morning. It's now available in the article entitled "166,659 vacancies in 'bloated' civil service".
The ratio of the country’s civil service to the population is proportionately higher than other countries at 4.68 per cent.

This ratio comparatively doubles that of our neighbours as reported in Oriental Daily which showed Thailand’s ratio was 2.06%, Indonesia (1.79%) and Philippines (1.81%) in 2000.
The figures certainly lends (heavy) weight to the gist of my supposed controversial statement that the Civil Service needs to be trimmed for it's size is not only detrimental to overall efficiency but also a major financial burden on the Government.

Two other key points raised during the discussion included firstly, the need for a carrot and stick approach. The pay hike given is a very attractive carrot, and now its important to implement the stick approach.
...潘儉偉則認為,如果能夠推行一套監督鞭策的機制,調高薪金可以減少貪污。

「相較於新加坡政府,我們對公務員缺乏處罰的文化。在新加坡,公務員薪酬待遇高,同時當地政府對公務員行為有清楚明確的規範指南,在有效的監督下,新加坡公務員害怕失去眼前享受到的高待遇,所以普遍上在執行公務時,大部份皆能廉潔執行任務。」
I've also previously discussed this issue in my education blog post with regards to Datuk Seri Hishammuddin's "Pool of Doom".

In addition, I emphasized on the need for teachers and lecturers, as well as doctors to receive additional increments as the police and military force did.
潘儉偉認為,這次公務員調薪,政府特別額外加薪20%給軍警人員,是值得肯定。不過,在公務員隊伍裡,教師和醫生也應該給予特定的關注。

「在發展中國家,人力培訓是提昇全球競爭力的重要一環,所以提高教師的待遇,吸引好的人材投身教育領域,從而提昇學校的教學水準,加強人力素質,有助改善國家的競爭力。」

其次,目前本地醫生短缺,在國外唸醫科的本國優秀生,學成後因為國內政府醫院待遇較國外來得低,寧可留在國外發展,不願返國服務,使得本地政府醫院,祇好引進孟加拉、緬甸、巴基斯坦等國家的醫生,解決人手荒。

「因此,政府應該考慮提高政府醫生的待遇,以吸引留在國外的本國醫生返國服務。」

同時,潘表示,這波公務員調薪,固然有助提昇國人的購買力,促進經濟成長率,不過也會帶來新一波的通貨膨脹。
So happy reading the various news reports, and I'll try to put up my 3rd post on Civil Service Excellence as soon as possible. ;)
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