Sunday, November 23, 2008


Gold Arawana Talked on Civil Service

I read an article by a Borneo Post journalist, Tired Eye, which published in the newspaper on Sunday. It was an impressive comment, good and must be read by the civil service officers. In fact, I think all the agencies should publish it on their notice boards or distribute it to their subordinates. Other articles also publish in the newspapers for the next two or three days, some of them even in front page. So, please...Do not blame them, they are discovering the truth and it was totally constructive comments in conjuctions of Civil Service Day. And now this is my comment…

I wrote this just after I read some of the articles, I read it for a few times, and try to be as honest as I can. But of course, some of my honest idea I restricted myself to write it so that it will not become too descriptive and would hurt feelings of others. I asked few friends either I am wrong if I publish it, but most of them comments that it is general and most of the facts are well-known by public. So, it has containing no political issue or sensitive issue that could hurt others’ feeling. So, I just publish it…

Being working in both private and government sector, I realize that there is a very big gap. From the salary to the environment, and even the way I was thinking. I should start typing on my keyboard my working experience in private sector. I am working with a small, a political company which was mostly dependant on the projects given by the government. During that time, a lot of direct negotiation projects and my company is one which being lucky to get one of them. It was my one or two weeks after I successfully completed my study in civil engineering, I feel lucky actually. In fact I already start to promote myself since in University, sending my resume here and there to get a job. I was offer a small basic salary, but plus the incentives, travelling, overtime etc can give me almost triple of my basic salary. The most which attractive me is that we were encourage becoming a contractor to our own company, where in some projects our sub-contractor fail to do the rectification works as instructed by our clients. It was of course, two or three folds cheaper than looking for new contractor to do it. And I do.

However, with the almost completed projects, and Malaysian’s politics change its scenario, the company is half dead. This means that working with a political company is not secure! I always believed that the civil service is a “goyang kaki” job, nothing to do better than waiting for the payslips on every month. Whenever I meet our clients, they make complaints on this and that, I start to suspect on the left sided and almost ask them; “Sir, What do you want actually?” Eventually, they are much...much older and experience than me, and I am not brave enough to say so. So I start to curse them, of course on their back. He he

With the completion of the projects, we do nothing in office. Yes of course planning and lobbying for a new project. But it was not worthy; I have no more travelling, no more site income, and no more contracts for me. I slightly become poorer! I start to look for a new job, apply here and there but they offer me job which is not fair to my salary! At last I read a newspaper on the advertisement of vacancies on the civil service. Think and think and think, I finally apply for a carrier that I was always looked down before. I called for the interview, it is not as easy as I think; one day interview in two or three Section which I cannot remember. And I was surrounded by the senior officer which asking me a lots of questions. Even some of them, I cannot answer not because I don’t know the answer, I was too nervous! I was happy; I was among those who success in the interview while some of my closed friends is not lucky. And I tender my resignation letter with one month notice. Of course there was a farewell party and souvenirs from my colleagues.

I start my new day at my new office (actually temporary attachment) with a lot of question marks. I was forcing to dress on smart dressing that I used only in the meeting before, given a thick General Orders that I not finish reading yet until now, Treasury Instruction which I should strictly follow, procedures on this and that which I strictly have to follow, meeting with humble bosses and friendly colleagues, and of course I was introduce to the words INTEGRITY.

As mentioned by the Borneo Post journalist, he did not point any about the integrity is Corruption! His point is bucking to wake up the public services which are now some if not many think that they are sleeping. Tired Eye, you are correct, integrity is not just talking on corruptions, in my opinion its more towards strengthening the believed and empowering the service as an example to the private sector. For the next two days, there a lot more articles bucking on civil service. Most of them are on the newspaper’s front page. Of course, in real facts what being publish by the journalist is correct. We heard about DERISIONS on public sectors like Samseng Berlesen for PDRM, Jabatan Perosak Jalan for JPJ, Jangan Kerja Rajin for JKR, Kalau Ada Sapu, Tak Ada Minta for KASTAM and lots more. This must be referring to one or two in hundreds of the officers I believed as in a famous Malay parable; “Kerana Nila Setitik, Rosak Susu Sebelanga”.

For now, Civil Service are even challenging, we heard about threatening to enforcement officers, hit and run to police traffic and etc, etc. And on the country’s developments, civil services play major roles on it. Becoming consultants, advisors, banker, planner, etc…etc this sees the big responsibilities on their shoulder. It is normal anyway, if something goes wrong, we must have somebody to point guilty which reflect the pyramid shape, the bottom part have to receive more, of course! Civil services are now no more ‘goyang kaki’ job. When the government officers "speak", not meaning that they have "other" intention! Please...I have make it wrong once, and do not follow my mistake thinking...

Furthermore, Malaysia has too many agencies where in some areas they are on the same scope of responsibilities and overlapping to each other. In road projects for example, JKR, District Office, Councils, DID, Land & Survey, Resident Office all knows how to build roads. For building projects, almost all the departments know how to construct or maintain even if they have no technical backgrounds. On environment, there are also few departments looking after the same scope. So when come to complaints, the public blurred which department is doing what! Or in most cases, departments will pass the complaints to each other like playing football. The most unlucky department (or the goalkeeper), will have to take it where the complaints already half a year without action. So, rebrand each of the department maybe a good idea.

Public Relation Officer (PRO), in some utilities company (actually they are government link company) has proved their well managing the public complaints which should be expand to some departments which are directly deal with the public. I totally agreed on Tan Sri Dr. George Chan, Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak and Datu Wilson Baya Dandot, the State Secretary of Sarawak on their constructive suggestions that civil servants should be innovative and creative. Maybe I have to add another one, PROACTIVE!
I do not agree that the civil servants are working for the politicians. Totally not! Politicians and Public Service of course sharing the same main job; to serve the peoples. Now I had to stop because I am not a politician, so I am not the best to write it. For further description, I have to dotted my sentences.

For the civil servants, we are so lucky of course. Thousands of Malaysian is hoping that they can seat at the chair that is currently belong to us. So, be thankful! Don’t feel hurt by the various comments by the public and take it as constructive comments for better improvements. Once, I was thinking that salary in civil service is too low compare to the responsibilities that we have to carry. At some posts, it is not too much to say that they are overloaded! Of course there were salary increment last year (Thanks YAB PM), which see the salary for the same post and experience in private sector is sometime lower compare to civil service. This is after plus minus on the hidden cost!

There is pro and contra on this, but the real challenge is how to empowering the integrity among the civil servants. But the integrity itself is immeasurable that needs continuous application. I am not a Mr. Perfect, not an expert, not the father of justice, not a senior officer in government, or even not a journalist. That’s mean I am nobody who JUST CAN TALK ABOUT IT WHILE HAVING A CUP OF COFFEE. But I believed that you will know better a group, only if you become the member of the group. When something goes wrong, go back to the basic.

Now is almost 12 midnight, I better finished up my coffee, shut down my computer and go to sleep to continue serve the peoples for tomorrow. To all Gold Arawana's friends in civil service, it is still not too late for me to greet “HAPPY CIVIL SERVICE DAY” and wish you all the best.


Anonymous said...

Good article. Next time, more honest on your writing, dont worry on that... Just give an actual fact, your writing will be more umphh...

Civil service still need improvement...a lot!

BerN said...

cool... what is the purpose of Civil Service day when we all had to wear 'bullet proof' vest all the time... Nowaday even worst... we need bomb proof.

Gold Arawana said...

Thanks Friends; public more respect the colonials when they sat on our now positions. This is perflexity to me. A big question marks. Anyway, civil servants have no way to move, speak too much, you are wrong, not to speak, you also wrong... Ha ha