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Has the new government delivery system promised by Abdullah on Thursday been drowned by the KL floods or buried by the debris of litany of public building mishaps?

Media Statement (2)       
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Tuesday): Two Saturdays ago on 2nd June 2007, New Straits Times carried a Bernama report quoting the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as disclosing that a new government delivery system would be implemented in 13 days’ time, i.e. Thursday June 14, 2007. 

Addressing Kuala Lumpur City Hall officials during a one-day tour of the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 1st June, 2007, Abdullah said he had instructed the National Physical Planning Committee attended by all Mentris Besar, Chief Ministers and several Ministers in Putrajaya two days earlier “to ensure that the government machinery is prepared to implement the new government delivery system in 13 days”. 

The Prime Minister said: 

"I hope the ministers will follow up on this matter. This is important as we only have 13 days to go. We want them to monitor the state of preparedness to carry out the new government delivery system.

"We want them to call up department heads to make sure that everything is in place for the implementation."

Abdullah said that it was necessary to ensure there were no glitches that could frustrate the people who harboured high hopes following the government’s announcement two months ago that the delivery system would be improved. 

With less than 48 hours to go, what is this new public service delivery system which Abdullah had promised 11 days ago? 

It is most disconcerting that there are absolutely no signs that any new government delivery system will be launched on Thursday, as all the publicity build-up which would precede any major government initiative have been completely absent. 

Have Abdullah’s promise of a new public service delivery system been drowned by the Kuala Lumpur floods on Sunday, which made a total mockery of the RM1.9 billion SMART Tunnel, or has it been buried under the debris of the litany of public building mishaps with ceilings collapsing, walls cracking and internal floodings from burst water and sewerage pipes? 

Or has the Prime Minister been misled and misinformed by his officials about the launching of a new public service delivery system on Thursday, when no such major government initiative had ever been planned or even existed?

I was very surprised to read of yesterday’s Bernama report, entitled Call For Re-evaluation Of Current Practices To Upgrade Delivery System”, which quoted the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili calling  for a re-evaluation of current practices to upgrade the public service delivery system.

Addressing the monthly assembly and "meet-the-clients" day of 25 government departments at the Sabah Federal Government Administrative Complex in Kota Kinabalu, Maximus said the re-evaluation should include re-assessing existing work systems and procedures, laws and regulations, equipment as well as the expertise of personnel.

He said: "An efficient service delivery system is important to ensure smooth and effective implementation of national development policies and strategies."

He said civil servants must be committed and discharge the task entrusted to them so that they could deliver excellent service to the people.

Maximus is very right – but at the expense of proving the Prime Minister very wrong in announcing two Fridays ago that a new public service delivery system will be launched in 13 days’ time.

How could there be any new public service delivery system when the re-evaluation of current practices to upgrade the public service delivery system has still to be carried out?

The Prime Minister should clarify whether there is going to be any launching of a new public service delivery system, as the faux pax either by him or by Maximus does not inspire public confidence that Malaysia is heading towards the restoration of  a world-class civil service, despite a RM8 billion salary revision for public employees.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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