06 July 2009

Public service and government administration must be partners — Datuk Seri Najib Razak

JULY 6— We have said it many times that it is important for the public and private sectors to forge a smart partnership. It cannot be denied that in the context of a market-driven economy, the role of the private sector is extremely crucial.

We acknowledge that the private sector is the engine of growth, the main wealth generator for the country.

I would like, however, to stress on another type of partnership which is equally important. I'm talking about the partnership between members of the administration and members of the civil service, or in other words, the administration as a whole and the public service as a whole.

I want to re-emphasise and acknowledge the importance of this partnership not just as a statement of fact but more importantly, for us to appreciate and internalise; because if this partnership is strong, it will benefit the people and the country.

It will be difficult to implement the government's agenda or my administration's agenda, let alone see its success, if the partnership between the administration and the public service is lacking.

If we look back and think of events in our country's history — about how we implemented changes or resolved crises facing the nation — it will become apparent that we managed to do all that because of this special relationship between the administration and the public service.

It is for this reason that, as we move forward, I want to re-emphasise the importance of strengthening this relationship.

This is even more crucial because in the near future, I will be tabling the National Key Result Areas (KRA) and National Key Performance Indicators (KPI), which the government will focus on in the coming years.

I don't intend, however, to reveal the details of the National Key Result Areas and National KPI today, suffice to say that this will be a new initiative in the way we administer the country.

This approach will breathe new life into the efforts to bring the country to greater heights.

Whatever it is that we want to achieve, whatever the alternate goals we want to accomplish for the country — whether the objective is to become a developed country, a high income country or to become a first world country — it will depend on how far this partnership can translate the government's agenda.

Let us, therefore, see this as our commitment and I hope that this partnership is not merely a formal one among ministers and secretaries-general or the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary to the Government and senior officers, and so on, but it should go beyond that.

It must reach the point of being spiritual and emotional; meaning, members of the public service genuinely believe that the government's agenda is the best for the country.

You must have that emotional and spiritual connection between yourself and members of the government.

That will be the apex of partnership between the public service and government administration.

And this is not just about winning the next general election — we wouldn't want to lose though — but more than that, this is about transformation, about transforming Malaysia.

I also want to stress another keyword, which is transformation. Transformation is not just about renewal process but also about changes.

Renewal can be superficial and minimal but transformation is renewal in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

This is our journey and I hope that this journey will be a journey where the civil service and the administration are moving hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, towards a meaningful destination for our beloved Malaysia.

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