KULAI: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad attended a dialogue with Johor state and federal civil servants on the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 here.
Dr Mahathir, who was in town for the Tanjung Piai by-election, joined other leaders including Mentri Besar Dr Sahruddin Jamal, State Secretary Datuk Azmi Rohani and heads of state and federal government departments.
Also present during the dialogue yesterday was the Prime Minister’s wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
The Shared Prosperity Vision, which was launched by the Federal Government last October, is the blueprint for the nation’s direction for 2021 to 2030, taking into account current and anticipated conditions over the next 10 years.
It is aimed at making Malaysia a country that continues to grow sustainably with wealth distribution that is fair and inclusive, encompassing each income level and across ethnic groups and regions.
In Kuala Lumpur, both Public Service Department director-general Datuk Mohd Khairul Adib Abd Rahman and Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali agreed that there was no room for personal agenda in the civil service.
The civil service, they said, must deliver on the agenda of the political masters who had been elected.
Mohd Khairul Adib also urged the civil service to stop isolating themselves in “castles of their own” and work with the ministers.
He said although the government and the people had changed, the civil service had yet to catch up and play their role as the machinery to deliver the agenda of the political masters.
“We are at the crossroads. The rakyat do not see the effectiveness of the government.
“All comments about the government are negative. Even those in the government behave as if they are not the government. There is no one to defend the civil service.
“If you read the blogs today and the comments online on the civil service, we will feel that the civil service is not taking any sides, as if we are in our own castle.
“What are we supposed to be doing? We are paid with the taxes of the people, so we are supposed to be the delivering partner of the government, and we are the interface between the government and the people.
“When the people want service and we do not deliver, the people will suffer and get angry. Over 99% say our government service is bloated and that we are not effective, ” said Mohd Khairul Adib.
He was speaking to the top civil servants at a ministerial forum series on the Shared Prosperity Vision with Azmin as the guest of honour.
At the event, Azmin said civil servants must not fear telling off ministers should they stray, to ensure that the government remained on the right track.
Citing the example of the Selangor state secretary who used to tell him off when he was the mentri besar, Azmin said this kept him on his toes, adding that the powers vested in the government through the mandate of the people was not a “privilege”.
“The one who betrays the trust (of the people) has lost the mandate to rule, ” said Azmin.
Later, he told reporters that there was a need for the Pakatan Harapan government to ensure political stability to be able to deliver its promises to the people.
“For the first time in 60 years, the people decided to change to a new government that is clean, and will be able to deliver back to the rakyat.
“We have to work very hard to recalibrate economic policies, and the main challenges globally with China and the US as trading partners.
“This is an opportunity for us to be more competitive, and we can address the huge markets in Asean countries. We have 650 million people in this region and there is much opportunity for us to increase our trade, ” said Azmin. -The Star