National Conference on Improving Accountability and Public Service Management Efficiency: Transforming Public Services Efficiency and Responsiveness.

28 May 2010, Comments 0
Bismillahir rahmanir rahim
Assalamualaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh
A very good morning and Salam 1 Malaysia
Prof. Dr. Mohd Hamdan bin Haji Ahmad, Executive Director of Institute Sultan Iskandar, UTM
Prof. Dr. Mohamed Amin Alias
Conference Director
Y.Bhg Datuk-Datuk
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
First and foremost allow me to thank Institute Sultan Iskandar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia for inviting me to share my thoughts at this Conference on Improving Accountability and Public Service Management Efficiency: Transforming Public Services Efficiency and Responsiveness.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
2.         On 25th May 1961, John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States of America in a Special Address to Congress on the Importance of Space stated that i believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth In another speech he said – - We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to winand the others, too.
3.         The Apollo 11 space flight landed the first humans on Earth\’s Moon before the decade was out, on 20 July, 1969. Apollo 11 fulfilled U.S. President John F. Kennedy\’s goal of reaching the moon before the Soviets as he had expressed in his Speech in 1961 to the United States Congress.
4.                     Great nations and the most competitive have earned their keep because they act on their Visionsand act on them collectively as a nation. They set these visions not because it is easy, not because it is fancy or chic, but because they share a common foresight to the world that will be, the world that will dictate the events of tomorrow, not today. These are societies that have the wits not only to plan but also to act beyond the realities of today. The stomach to move the boundaries beyond the comforts of today. These are the most competitive nations of today and tomorrow. We need to only see them from the World rankings.
5.  The world we live in today is malleable and fluid to the environment that surrounds us. From hard core prelims, like how technology evolves and overtakes today???s vogue, to the vectors that direct talent movement to market evolution are today ALL open to new winds of change. A new map is being drawn and re-drawn by the ink of the world events. But of consequence to this new order, is a new kind of mind that is emerging. New outlook, new thinking, new generation with new expectations.
6.  Fifty years ago someone working for General Motors (The largest carmaker in the USA) for instance will probably spend his entire 30 to 40-year career with General Motors. But project that forward to 25 years later, that same person who joined General Motors may move to join Toyota, then perhaps Ford, for career enhancement before he retires. To present time now, another 25 years later, a person who joins General Motors, may leave and join Goldman Sachs as an investment banker then decide he/she will do an MBA before moving into journalism and public sector all in a grand total of less than 4 years, working probably in 4 to 5 different industry profiles, in 4 totally independent competencies. The same too is now happening in Japan the hallowed ground of life-long employment.
7.         The times when four generations of a family ran the same family business is probably a portrait for the hanging in our memorabilia today. Todays\’ scene depicts four generations of a family running different businesses and vocation in almost certainly non-complementary areas.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
8.  That is the world that is drawn for us today. The demography that surrounds us now. These vistas of space will be more nebulous and imperceptible for the decades and generations ahead. The generations that will ensue us will be working in jobs we may not even have conceived of today, studying courses that never can be imagined now. They would have found cure to illness of today but may be faced with new unfathomable  ailments tomorrow. Addressing global issues for a new order and admittedly, seeking new solutions which we may not even have envisioned. This fresh pace will create new challenges as it dispels old. Even if we each want to live by the dictum hide your light under a bushel and go quietly into the world, the world will shine its lights of successes and failures of societies and nations by its governing rules. The world today calls to account all that make it, as a nation does to all that claim a stake in it.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
9.  Though we may not be fully in control of the cards we are dealt withwe can command control in how we play the hand, the cards. The choice is up to us to define our rules to success and deliver that in the odds of what is before us.
10.  Governments can set Visions and policies, but it is the society in its collective vehicle that can deliver it. JFK on his own could not have enabled the Apollo 11. Nor could Gandhi for India, Nelson Mandela for South Africa or Tunku Abdul Rahman for Malaysia. It needed the commitment of the nation in its every stratum to deliver its dues. What Governments must however do is provide opportunity and not smother it. They must enableproductivity and not repress it. We must enablefacilitate and make possible.
11.  It is with this Vision in mind that the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) was launched by YAB Perdana Menteri on 28 January this year. The GTP in its acronyms touches on some chief nuggets that will move Malaysia to its next stable of potentials. I will not go into the details of GTP here as it is well covered. But suffice to say the GTP in its blueprint alone can never make Malaysia satisfy its full potential. It requires the GTP to be fully implemented, and more.
12. The greater responsibility of what a nation looks like, depends on our mindsour own attitudes.  The FUEL to GTP\’s success is mindset and cultural change. GTP is only an engine. So is the 10th Malaysia Plan, so is the New Economic Model. All of these initiatives must see corresponding mindset and cultural change in our society. It would be naive to even suggest that by virtue of these blueprints and commitment from the Government, we will see a developed country in Malaysia by a certain timeline. The National Key Result Areas identified today in GTP are to fulfil the needs for the times. These measures will vary with times. From our commitment to reducing crime, combating corruption, enhancing education standards, raising the living standards of low income households, improving basic rural infrastructure to urban public transportation enhancement – - the measures will change with the needs of the times. As we meet today\’s measures, there will be others that need fulfilling tomorrow.
13.  The responsibility of reaching a developed nation and the most competitive lies with all of us. How we address issues from our own homes to the market at large, will determine how far or near we are to realising our Vision for a Developed Nation. How we each conduct our own selves in our various roles, from our dining rooms to our boardrooms, will influence the success of achieving this.
14. Our social cohesion and consensus will show how fast and able we are to pick up and keep going for the next battle ground of growth and prosperity. We cannot allow silo distractions to detract us from collectively building this society. The strength and integrity of our institutions must imbue people???s trust in the Government. Ultimately, our brand strength as a nationour competitiveness as a market and our relevance as a society hinge on the trust we, the public service, help build as a Government. That will define the ultimate sustainable competitive advantage for Malaysia.
15. Fundamental to any transformation, development and progress is the MIND. Great economies and strong nations globally are forced to shed the Closed Kingdom\’s mindset, because to prosper we need allies, we need critiques, we need friends. Our critiques, no matter the severity with which they criticise, show that they still care about what we do, what the country can aspire for. So therefore listen more, speak less when criticised; and, DO MORE.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
16.  The hard facts of competitiveness are that it is blind to birth rightsCompetitiveness is blind to genderrace,creed and colour. It only deciphers meritocracy and delivery to results set.  Competitiveness demands for dignityand integritytransparency and accountability to be the prevailing creed in a society. Akin to Deng Xioping. i don\’t care if it\’s a white cat or a black cat.  It\’s a good cat so long as it catches mice.
17.  Singapore and Hong Kong have emerged the most competitive nations globally today outpacing the United States. Sweden is the most competitive economy in the European Union. The underlying parameters that make these countries stand apart from the rest is attributable to their innovative thinkingaggressiveness in adopting new technologies and the relevance of their R&D to private sector needs. Their governments are synchronisednot only with the needs of the local economies, but also of global imperatives. In short, they have bridged thegap between public and private agendas in serving the collective society and the country.

18.  Communally we must weave the threads to Malaysia???s coat with the many colours and uniqueness that makes Malaysia, Malaysia. As we become more diverse in our society and culture, we must embrace thecommon values of ethics and humanity that brings peace, justice and dignity into our society. The values that will have us overcome our differences, and bind us in our similarities and likeness.

19.  To be able to do this the mind must understand and be aware of the surroundings. It must be agile enough to adaptadjustadopt and rise to the occasion. Move beyond comfort zones and always push the limits. We can no longer live on the philosophy of Leave me alone or Live and let live. To make it collectively as a nation, we must today live by the motto Live and help live.
20.  Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Britain during World War II who went to being the only Prime Minister of Britain to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature was famed to have said\’The price of greatness is responsibility.  In a speech in Harvard he asserted that one cannot rise to be in many ways the leading community in the civilised world without being involved in its problemswithout being convulsed by its agoniesand inspired by its causes.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
21.  Malaysia has so much to offer and so much more to grow. We must never even begin to think that we have arrived for when we start thinking so, the seeds of arrogance and complacency will seep into our mindsour way of lifeour societyWe must work towards setting new benchmarks. From how we address growth in private sector, to infusing efficiency not only in the public sector, but also and more so, in the private sector, to eradicating corrupt and destructive behaviour and culture in our society to the values with which we nurture our families, all will define that new benchmark we set. Our own attitudes to work and life will define where and how far our country can go. As divergent and possibly conflicting our views could span as individuals, we must at some point agree to converge and come together as a country.
22. In 2000, Catherine Ryan Hyde\’s novel Pay It Forward was published and adapted into the Warner Brothers film Pay It Forward. It tells the story of an 11-year-old schoolboy in Las Vegas, given a class project to complete by his social studies teacher. His task is to come up with a plan that will change the world through direct action. Trevor then comes up with the plan to pay it forward by doing a good deed for three people who must in turn each do good deeds for three other people.
23.  Our lives are about paying it forward. It is said that the order of nature is such that we cannot render benefits to those from whom we receive them, or only seldom. But the benefit we receive must be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, cent for cent, to somebody else, probably in a future state.

24.  Whether you are running businesses in the private sector, or in the public sector, the young in schools to the old, as a society we must have the humility and preparedness to seek, pursue and examine alternatives. Always asking what more could be done, what should we change, have we travelled this road before, or shall we take the other less travelled? How can we better our education system, enhance our healthcare, increase our trade, eradicate ills and poverty in our society, raise living standards, amplifying our strength and peace as a society and nation? How do we eradicate the rules and systems that no longer work and bring in the new?

25. If we want to be relevantand continue to be relevant we have simply got to be extraordinary andunusual. Ultimately we can only be so if the people want to make it so. Governments and markets cannot do it singularly. Media and NGOs must assume their due roles in nation building too for the collective good of all.
26. From the businesses we build, to the policies we implement, and the talents we attract and recruit, to our social security policies will define how we pay it forward to our next generation. The decisions and policies we singularly and collectively pursue today, is by all accounts our payment forward to the next generationto a futurewe may not all be part of. As the last generation built today for us, we owe it to the next to build tomorrow on solid and sturdy grounds. As would the next to its ensuing generation.
27. Since the launch of Apollo, Americans have travelled to the moon six times. Twice in 1969 (Apollos 11 & 12). Twice in 1971 (Apollos 14 & 15). Twice in 1972 (Apollos 16 & 17). JFK was assassinated on 22 November, 1963. He never witnessed any of the launches. He paid it forward to his country.
28. SO, let us all endeavour to pay it forward for our country.
On that note I am please to officiate the National Conference on Improving Accountability and Public Service Management Efficiency, and wish you all every success in your deliberations and solutions for our collective lasting improvement, as Malaysians.
Thank you
Wabillahittaufiq walhidayahWassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>