12 July 2007

MB on government award row

The Star

SHAH ALAM: Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said that he was not finding fault with anyone when he commented that the annual excellence service awards for civil servants were a form of deception.

He said the statement was made to help remedy the situation, based on his experience as an administrator and for one who believed in the importance of meritocracy.

“Even if the quota for the number of awardees is 30 but only 10 are deserving, then only 10 awards should be given out,” he said.

He was speaking at a press conference after the state executive council meeting here yesterday.

Dr Mohd Khir said the excellence service awards should not only be rotated among selected civil servants but be given to those who had performed well, even if they were junior staff.

He also said leaders should be able to accept constructive criticism.

He added that no one was perfect and leaders who were willing to take criticism were those open to improvement and positive changes.

“Those who cannot take criticism cannot improve,” he said.

His statement, which was made on Monday, raised the ire of both Public Services Department director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam and Cuepacs president Omar Osman.

Dr Mohd Khir also said he was prepared to meet with Ismail to discuss the matter.

Ismail denied the statement and asked the Mentri Besar for clarification while Omar said the statement had demoralised the nation’s civil servants.

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