20 February 2008

Cops rehired on contract as lecturers

KUALA LUMPUR: Almost 300 experienced police officers and staff with a proven track record who are about to retire or have retired have been rehired as lecturers and operational staff on a contractual basis.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Datuk Ismail Omar said 49 of them with the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent have been hired as lecturers and would be based at the Senior Police Officers College in Cheras and the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) in Jalan Semarak.

"The 240 rank and file personnel rehired will do operational duties as they know what to do. These men will start work immediately,'' he said, adding that another 100 or more officers and staff would be offered such contracts in the next few weeks.

Ismail said the police officers and staff had vast experience in various fields and would help train and impart their knowledge to young police officers and staff.

To a question, Ismail said the force had been receiving requests and letters from retired policemen wanting to come back to serve due to the lucrative offer.

He said they could not accept them as some of them were almost 60 years old while the contract offered stipulates that they must be less than 60 years of age.

Ubah suai format PTK

Utusan Online

SUDAH banyak keluhan dan pendapat yang tersiar dalam ruangan ini mengenai ketidakpuasan hati sebilangan besar kakitangan awam apabila menyentuh beberapa isu antaranya Penilaian Tahap Kecekapan (PTK).

Namun isu tersebut tidak mendapat maklum balas sewajarnya daripada Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam (SPA) setakat ini.

Hasrat kerajaan dalam melahirkan penjawat awam berstatus dunia kelas pertama mungkin terjejas sekiranya sistem penilaian pretasi penjawat awam yang ada sekarang tidak dirombak atau diganti dengan satu mekanisme baru yang lebih telus dan bersesuaian untuk menilai tahap pretasi sebenar penjawat awam.

Sistem penilaian pretasi melalui peperiksaan yang diamalkan sekarang pada pendapat saya tidak memberi gambaran sebenar kecekapan penjawat awam.

Sistem peperiksaan hanya mengajar penjawat awam untuk banyak membaca dan menghafal seberapa banyak yang mampu dengan satu matlamat untuk menjawab seberapa banyak jawapan dengan betul.

Matlamat utamanya sudah tentulah mendapat keputusan cemerlang iaitu tahap IV untuk dipertimbangkan kenaikan gaji.

Hakikatnya tidak ramai yang mampu mencapai tahap kelulusan cemerlang. Majoritinya sekadar mampu untuk lulus, itu pun mungkin setelah beberapa kali mengambilnya.

Bagi yang telah lulus cemerlang pula terpaksa menunggu satu tempoh yang agak lama untuk menikmati faedah daripada kenaikan gaji. Bagi yang lulus tahap III pula hanya akan menikmati hasilnya sekiranya terdapat kekosongan jawatan untuk kenaikan pangkat sahaja itupun sekiranya ada.

Inilah sebahagian daripada senario PTK yang dihadapi penjawat awam sejak ia diperkenalkan di bawah Sistem Saraan Malaysia (SSM).

Kesukaran untuk mencapai tahap lulus cemerlang mahupun sekadar lulus sahaja menyebabkan ramai penjawat awam yang putus asa dan tertekan kerana kegagalan tersebut menutup peluang untuk kenaikan gred jawatan yang lebih tinggi dan kenaikan gaji.

Justeru, ramai juga yang menolak untuk mengambil peperiksaan dengan alasan kecewa, malas menelaah buku-buku PTK, kesuntukan masa kerana beban kerja harian dan sebagainya. Kadangkala soalan-soalan dalam PTK tiada kaitan langsung dengan bidang tugas penjawat awam itu sendiri.

Ada juga berpendapat PTK hanya untuk ulat buku, asalkan rajin membaca dan menghafal walaupun pretasi kerja sederhana tetapi masih berpeluang lulus cemerlang.

Diharapkan SPA dapat meneliti dan mengkaji sedalam-dalamnya saranan CUEPACS yang meminta dimansuhkan format peperiksaan dalam PTK dan digantikan format baru yang lebih relevan dan sesuai dengan pengalaman dan kemahiran penjawat awam.

Pengalaman dan kemahiran penjawat awam tidak boleh dinilai melalui peperiksaan. Kecekapan bekerja pula adalah sesuatu yang subjektif dan memerlukan penilaian yang berbeza sama ada melalui penilaian daripada pegawai yang bergred lebih tinggi atau penilaian daripada hasil kerja penjawat awam itu sendiri.

Usaha Ketua Setiausaha Negara (KSN), Tan Sri Mohd. Sidek Hasan dalam memperkasakan perkhidmatan awam dengan memperkenalkan pelbagai inisiatif positif termasuk konsep punish and reward yang diperkenalkan tahun lalu wajar dimanfaatkan dalam penilaian tahap kecekapan penjawat awam.

Ini sejajar dengan hasrat KSN sendiri yang mahu melahirkan masyarakat perkhidmatan awam yang berintegriti dan berminda kelas pertama.

– RMN,


Crackdown on agencies which ill-treat foreign workers

The Star

PETALING JAYA: The Labour Department is going all out to catch and charge employers and outsourcing companies which mistreat foreign workers.

Its enforcement director Khamis A. R. Majid said 300 officers had begun nationwide spot checks.

“This is a year of prosecution for such culprits. We have encountered a number of cases already and such cases must stop,” he said on Monday after delivering a paper at a seminar on ‘Developing Comprehensive Policy Framework for Migrant Labour’.

Khamis said outsourcing companies would be their main target given that many had promised jobs to foreign workers who ended up living in squalid conditions and had to endure frequent job changes that differed from their original offer.

He said no mercy would be shown to those who committed offences against foreign workers including non-payment or excessive deduction of wages and not providing them with insurance as required by law under the Foreign Workers Compensation Scheme.

There are about 200 outsourcing companies in the country. Cases against such companies and errant employers have been cropping up more often recently.

Khamis said, as at Dec 31 last year, Malaysia had a workforce of 11.46 million. Of this, 81.8% were local workers and some 2.04 million were foreign workers. This does not include illegal workers in the country, which was around 1.2 million.

The bulk of documented foreign workers came from Indonesia (1.15 million), followed by Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Vietnam and Myanmar.

“A total of 1,487 complaints were received from foreign workers over the last three years, of which 431 were for last year,” he said, adding Indonesian workers chalked up the highest number of complaints.

18 February 2008

Race to be a world-class civil service

The Sun

"Congratulations on your promotion, but I thought non-Malays could not become headmasters?"

I remember a friend of the family coming over to our house to wish Dad when the latter was appointed headmaster of a new primary school, a sekolah kebangsaan, in Kelantan.

Dad explained that this was a fallacy: "There is no such thing. The problem is we have overzealous heads of department who read too much into the New Economic Policy (NEP) and discard merit for skin colour."

Dad’s words have merit. There have never been circulars issued that appointments should be made based on ethnicity. Have we even once heard our leaders say that only a particular race can head national schools or be appointed to certain positions in government?

I have never heard them say it. Our leaders have always stressed that the person holding a position must be the best man or woman for the job. In fact of late, they have been arguing that the civil service should be more ethnically diverse.

They also remind us every now and then that the NEP, which is a means to improve the lot of the majority, is also meant to elevate the economic conditions of ALL Malaysians.

Even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he was prime minister had told the MCA General Assembly a decade ago that ANYONE could become premier – a point he repeated at the Umno congress.

This scenario although unlikely, in a way became reality when Umno was declared illegal in 1987 and for a brief period, Datuk Seri (now Tun) Dr Ling Liong Sik found himself heading the Barisan Nasional by virtue of his position as president of the MCA – the second largest party in the coalition.

But alas, this message of merit over ethnicity gets diluted when it trickles down to the civil service. In making appointments or recommendations, over-eager decision-makers read too much into the NEP, depriving some deserving civil servants of promotions or appointments to key positions.

By doing so, they are also doing an injustice to the majority as it would be perceived that whoever is appointed to a certain position was not chosen on merit.

Not to say that those preferred are incapable or undeserving, but by misconstruing the NEP, administrators give the impression that minority groups may not even have been considered for choice posts. This may somewhat explain the lack of participation from minority races in the civil service.

It is not enough and even unfair for some critics to dismiss this with the comment that "minorities are uninterested in serving in the public sector". One has to delve further into the reasons as to why our public service is not representative of the country’s multi-cultural base.

According to statistics from 2006 provided by the Centre for Public Policy Studies, of the 899,250 public servants, 692,736 are Malays; 84,295 Chinese; 46,054 Indians; 69,828 other bumiputras and 6,337 of other races.

The same report said there are 1,370 Malays in top management, as opposed to 151 Chinese, 83 Indians, 23 other bumiputras and five from other minority groups.

The report also noted that from 1971 to 2006, there was a drop of 10.8% in Chinese participation in the civil service and 12.3% among Indians.

If there is any truth to these statistics, one should just bear in mind that the most senior civil servants representing ethnic minorities are Datuk Thomas George, the secretary-general to the Human Resources Ministry and his counterparts, Datu Dr Michael Dosim Lunjew from the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry and Datuk Dr Victor Wee from the Tourism Ministry.

Some may argue that these three gentlemen make up the "quota" of ethnic minorities appointed to key positions in the civil servants. If this is so, then one can understand why ethnic minorities prefer to work in the private sector as there are better chances for career development.

Which is why it is encouraging to note the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan’s assurance that the government is in fact colour blind when it comes to appointments and promotions.

To attract the best, Mohd Sidek pointed out, gender, colour and creed must take a back seat to education, skill, experience and diligence.

Mohd Sidek’s message must trickle down to the heads of department and a more transparent selection process must be implemented where the decision is not one person’s to make but by a group of senior civil servants.

However, other considerations the government must continue to bear in mind are to make benefits as competitive as those offered by the private sector (as in Singapore), opportunities for personal growth and job satisfaction.

By taking cognisance of the situation and making the required changes, the government is assuring taxpayers that their interests and that of the nation take precedence over other considerations, and that the most deserving and capable will be rewarded, whoever they are.

This will certainly pave the way to realise Mohd Sidek’s aspirations of making the Malaysian public sector a "first-class civil service".

Terence was discouraged from entering the civil service by his own father who tore up his Teacher Training College admission form. He is deputy news editor (special reports & investigations) and can be reached at terence@thesundaily.com

Charter for public service delivery


PUTRAJAYA: The government has issued a document on Public Service Commitments 2008: Towards A Customer-centric Malaysian Public Service to improve the public service delivery system.

The document contains a set of promises the public service is readily making to the public.

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said the document was the result of co-operation and input from secretaries-general, directors-general and senior public officials.

One of the core commitments made for this year was to improve the service delivery at local authorities and land offices.

"Why you might ask? Simply because our local authorities are the nucleus of our society as they determine the standard of living and quality of life of the place we each choose for ourselves and our families," he said.
Malaysia today ranked well internationally. In the 2007 World Competitiveness ranking, Kuala Lumpur was ranked eighth of 55 countries, sixth on government efficiency, fourth on business efficiency and 10th on infrastructure development.

In the World Bank's Doing Business 2008, Kuala Lumpur ranked 24th of 178 countries.

Given these achievements and global rankings, Sidek said "we should not be getting any more complaints of broken street lights and uncollected rubbish".

"We cannot be smelling clogged drains and tolerating broken pavement tiles, potholes or even non-responsive local authority staff."

He was speaking when opening a seminar, Masterclass Place Branding, at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre here yesterday.

Sidek reminded civil servants to be ambitious in taking the country to the top 10 in terms of the World Bank's ranking by 2010.

With the literacy rate and resources the country is blessed with, Sidek said it was to be expected that these amenities would be taken for granted.

"However, anything less is a broken promise to our achievements. There must not and cannot be a reason for these complaints.

"Yet we read of it in letters to editors and emails. We must search our hearts and ask why this is still happening in the 21st century.

"Why haven't we moved up the value chain of service delivery at the local authorities?"

He posed a few other questions.

"What makes a business tick? What do we consider when choosing a place to call our home? What are the criteria of a place that will be the choice for our children's education and our own healthcare service preference?

"Are the public amenities to the standards I aspire for myself, my children and grandchildren? Is this place as safe as home for me?

"These questions come from the heartstrings of every one of us, because when it affects you individually, you will make sure the answers to all these questions are certainly no less than a 'yes'."

Sidek said it was the duty and responsibility of local authorities, regardless of whether they were big or small, to deliver these things in the places they run.

"When we operate from a principle of 'we should treat others the way we want to be treated', that in itself will develop the competitive advantage due to our cities, districts, towns and municipalities. And we definitely can make that difference," he said.

Since local authorities were the front face of the public service, Sidek said they bear the responsibility of carrying the brand effectively as place branding would take them to the basics -- reputation, delivery standards and consistency.

He told local authorities to "deliver our promises and deliver them with consistency". Heads of local authorities and land offices must engage and consult stakeholders and stop frustrating them.

"We need to sell solutions and not products. Each solution must be tailor-made to suit all times and their staff must be trained.

"The traditional benevolent civil servant of 'I know what is good for you', no longer works," he said.

There are 144 local authorities in the country.

Sidek also said local authorities were customers themselves.

"All of us are customers to ourselves. As such, we must serve the customers well."

He also reminded all 1.2 million civil servants to work hard, saying there should be no end in their pursuit for excellence.

Sistem bintang nilai PBT mula Mac

Berita Harian

Oleh Azrina Ahzan

TANYA KHABAR: Sidek (kiri) bersalam dengan peserta selepas merasmikan Seminar Masterclass Place Branding di Pusat Konvensyen Antarabangsa Putrajaya, semalam.

Prestasi pihak berkuasa tempatan perlu ditingkat: KSN

PUTRAJAYA: Mulai bulan depan, prestasi dan tahap kecekapan semua majlis perbandaran dan daerah melaksanakan tugas akan dinilai mengikut sistem bintang oleh Kementerian Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan.

Ketua Setiausaha Negara, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, berkata pelaksanaan sistem yang diumumkan tahun lalu itu diharap meningkatkan lagi mutu perkhidmatan pihak berkuasa tempatan (PBT).

"Saya sudah diberikan jaminan oleh kementerian sistem ini akan dilaksanakan mulai Mac. Jumlah bintang bagi setiap PBT dijangka diketahui dalam tempoh enam bulan selepas itu.

"Penilaian akan turut mengambil kira maklum balas orang ramai sebanyak 40 peratus daripada keseluruhan markah," katanya selepas merasmikan Seminar `Masterclass Place Branding' di Pusat Konvensyen Antarabangsa Putrajaya (PICC), di sini semalam.

Mohd Sidek berkata, buat permulaan penilaian akan dilaksanakan di majlis perbandaran, majlis bandaraya dan dewan bandaraya sebelum diperluaskan kepada semua PBT di seluruh negara.

Oktober lalu, Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak mengumumkan pelaksanaan sistem bintang bagi memantau prestasi dan kecekapan PBT.

Berikutan itu, semua majlis perbandaran dan daerah di seluruh negara dikategorikan menerusi satu sistem penggredan dua tahun sekali. PBT yang menunjukkan prestasi tinggi akan dijadikan penanda aras, manakala kepemimpinannya yang terbukti baik akan mendapat pengiktirafan kerajaan.

PBT yang didapati kurang kemampuan dan berprestasi rendah pula diberi perhatian pihak berkuasa peringkat negeri dan Pusat supaya usaha menambah baik pencapaian dapat dilakukan segera.

Antara tumpuan sistem itu ialah urusan kewangan, perkhidmatan komuniti, khidmat pelanggan, program teknologi maklumat dan komunikasi (ICT) dan laman web.

Dalam pada itu, Mohd Sidek berpuas hati dengan usaha penambahbaikan PBT, terutama memperbaiki sistem penyampaian masing-masing.

"Setakat ini, saya berpuas hati dengan pencapaian mereka, tetapi bukan sepenuhnya kerana PBT mesti terus berusaha mencapai tahap keterbilangan seperti disarankan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi," katanya.

Book praises work of welfare officers


KUALA LUMPUR: The Welfare Department is an important institution not only for the needy but also to society at large.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said the department had grown to become one of the most important organisations in the country over the past 31/2 years.

"The department has done a lot for the people. But most of the time it is not even appreciated.

"But we (the ministry) admire the department's work and efforts, and are proud of their achievements," she said at Sekolah Tunas Bakti in Sungai Besi yesterday.

Earlier, Shahrizat launched a book entitled Caring for Malaysia: 60 Years of Social Welfare to mark the 62nd anniversary of the Welfare Department.
The book tells the history of the department and its progress through the years.

It was published as an appreciation of the selfless contributions by the department's officers.

"The department has evolved from using a remedial to developmental approach which stresses individual and community growth," Shahrizat said.

The transformation had strengthened the department's programmes and services by introducing creative ways to respond to human needs.

Shahrizat said the government served as the backbone of the welfare services by providing peace and stability to the people.

Also present were the ministry's secretary-general Datuk Faizah Mohd Tahir and Welfare Department director Meme Zainal Rashid.

17 February 2008

45,000 to be hired as civil servants


KUALA LUMPUR: The Public Services Commission expects to fill some 45,000 vacancies in the civil service this year.

The vacancies are mainly in the medical, paramedical, immigration and prison sectors.

"There remains a critical shortage of doctors, pharmacists and dentists.

"There are 4,000 vacancies that need to be filled up," PSC chairman Tan Sri Jamaluddin Ahmad said after opening a two-day career fair here in conjunction with the PSC's golden jubilee.

Annually, he said, PSC only managed to fill between 1,500 and 1,800 vacancies with graduates from public and private universities and colleges.
He said the PSC would be going to Britain and Russia next month to interview Malaysians there.

"We are targeting 200 applicants in Britain and more than 300 in Russia.

"We may also go to Indonesia and Egypt where there are many Malaysian students."

Jamaluddin said since the commission adopted the open-interview system three years ago, public response had been good.

The open interview is held in Putrajaya every Tuesday,

Applicants will have to register with the PSC and they will be called for interview two weeks later.

Releasing the latest figures for the first quarter of this year, Jamaluddin said the PSC was in the midst of processing more than 15,000 applications, mainly for vacancies in the paramedical (7,000 applicants), immigration (5,000), diplomatic and service (700) sectors.

The other vacancies were mainly for enforcement officers, administrative assistants, IT officers and fire services personnel.

Since the pay rise in the civil service, 300,612 applications were received from July to December last year compared with 92,755 over the same period in 2006.

Applications from Malays increased three-fold (from 78,735 to 253,359), Chinese four-fold (from 1,347 to 5,421), Indians three-fold (1,953 to 6,113) and others, four-fold (8,720 to 35,719).

On the low number of Chinese and Indian applicants, Jamaluddin said the PSC had taken steps to address the matter, including advertising in the vernacular press, and conducting visits to Chinese schools and TAR College.

"We are also holding career fairs, visits to secondary schools and career talks at universities.

"The basic entry qualifications for many of the posts is only SPM with a credit in Bahasa Malaysia.

"We urge the public to come visit the career fair, learn more about the various jobs available and register with the commission."

The job fair is at the Mid Valley exhibition centre from 10am to 6pm.