Why do some Ministers love their top people around them all the time?

Agencies and corporations under any ministries are supposed to serve their ‘clients’. It is part of the delivery system envisaged by Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak in his ‘1 Malaysia’ call, “Rakyat first”.

The rakyat should be first. Be it individuals or other legal entities such as corporations or NGOs. All the departments, agencies and corporations are expected and supposed to serve and face the rakyat, in the implementation of policies that have been formulated and decided at Ministry level. This is a translation from a biggest and highest decision making forum, which is the Cabinet.

Engaging the rakyat means that the workforce across the board in the departments, agencies and corporations should prioritise themselves in serving the target market and do their operations first. Not serving the whims and fancies of the political master first.

Dato Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim Ph.D in his usual 'ceremonial duty'

Ministers crave for the attention. That is the by-product of being a politician and worse still, political animal. Some of them want or worse still, expect events to be created or staged so that they could come, give speeches and officiate or dedicate something. The more the better. Some of them expects all the senior officials such as the Chief Secretary, Deputy Chief Secretaries, Director Generals, Chief Executives and/or Divisional Secretaries serving under his ministry to be present in all these events, to show the ‘full force’ of the ministry when the Minister meets the rakyat or attending these events.

Let the ceremony begins.

We were told one such personality is Minister of Information, Communication and Culture Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim Ph.D. He thrives the limelight and expects all the top and senior persons serving in various capacities under his ministry to be present in the endless pomp-and-pageantry events. That is well and good, provided the men and women who were asked to attend the Minister’s events and these pomp-and-pageantry dos have nothing else more important to do in the capacity in serving the “Rakyat first”.

Minister-in-charge of Communications, Information & Culture Dr. Rais Yatim

If the Chief Secretary, Deputy Chief Secretaries, Director Generals, Chairmans/CEOs, Directors and Divisional Secretaries serving under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture spend a lot of time outside their office in attending these events as ‘ceremonial figures’, so will be doing their work in meeting their real clients and charter targets?  Just so that the Minister can demonstrate to the attendees of the events that invited him gives him the full force support of all the agencies and corporations under his ministry?

Is serving the political master in their capacity of ‘showing face’, part of KPIs as civil servants or professionals in corporations under the ministry? Must every speeches the Minister make in every pomp-and-pageantry ceremony be a landmark policy driven message that every senior personnel under the ministry must attend?

Should event like this get media coverage? Note the Bernama mike on the right

These are modern times. These are the times where information move at neuron speed and to far reaching places. The dynamism and challenges of the modern world requires much more from public servants. Faster response time, faster decisions and faster game plan to implement. No longer the days where public servants could sit on top of issues and suggestions for months and get lost ‘in transit’ or ‘within the system’.

These persons are supposed to engage their clients or target groups as per in their respective charters. What if the persons who are supposed to man these positions of formulation, planning, evaluation, decision making and implementation spend considerable time away from their posts, just to serve the whims and fancies of their political master and in reality, brought about little or no productivity in their capacity and expertise?


Rais officiating a Minankabau Food Festival. Should most if not all his ministry senior officials attend this function?

These feudalistic practices must stop. It is unproductive. If the Minister loves and craves all these pomp-and-pageantries, let him be. He can do all these all day long as he fancies. But leave his officers out of it. They have real work to do. Propping the Minister in ceremonial duties is least of the productive work the Chief Secretary, Deputy Chief Secretaries, Chairman/CEOs, Directors, Divisional Secretaries and lesser ranking officers should do. Or so it would seem.

Is that how PM Dato’ Seri Najib wanted for his Government Transformation Plan, in translating the ‘1 Malaysia’ call “Rakyat first”?


Published in: on January 12, 2011 at 11:16  Comments (30)