15 June 2007

Work towards a better civil service

The Star

I REFER to your report “Terengganu Government uses CCTVs to monitor its civil servants”, (The Star, June 11).

It is sad that the government has to resort to threats, like using CCTVs, to ensure that staff carried out their duties for which they are paid. Isn’t the recent hike in salaries sufficient incentive for them to work efficiently?

The plan to introduce CCTVs may seem to reinforce the common public perception that chit-chatting and lepaking (loitering) during office hours is rampant and a serious problem plaguing the civil service today.

I remember the days when as civil servants, we did not need such threats of punitive action to carry out the tasks entrusted to us. Very often we had to work through lunch breaks and after office hours without even being paid overtime.

The slogan “Berkhidmat untuk Negera” introduced then was an inspiration to provide quality service to the rakyat.

What has happened to the slogan? Why has it failed to instil the dedication and proper attitude to work among civil servants today? It is timely for us to review what has gone wrong and implement measures to boost the morale of the civil service.

CCTVs may be a brilliant idea and an innovative way to optimise information technology but it alone will not be sufficient to improve the delivery system.

Work done by compulsion and out of fear for the superiors will not bring lasting results. Moreover, spying on subordinates may be unethical.

For an efficient delivery system, its members should have the right attitude towards work. It should be done with love and a passion for the job

Regrettably, these are badly lacking these days, in both the public and to some extent in the private sector.

Rewarding the good and punishing the bad is the rule for success in any organisation. Stern action must be taken against errant workers without fear or favour.

At the same time, truly dedicated staff must be recognised, and appropriately rewarded. This will go a long way to improve the sense of belonging and loyalty to the institution.



No comments: