1. Saya ingin mengucapkan tahniah kepada Persatuan Perkhidmatan Tadbir dan Diplomatik (PPTD) dan INTAN oleh kerana menganjurkan bagi kali keduanya persidangan tahunan seperti ini, iaitu "Persidangan Perkhidmatan Awam 1996". Terima kasih saya tujukan kepada PPTD khususnya kepada Presiden PPTD Y.Bhg.
Dato' Dr. Mazlan Ahmad oleh kerana sudi memberi peluang kepada saya untuk berucap pada pagi ini.
2. Tema yang dipilih bagi persidangan kali ini iaitu "Public Sector Performance: Gearing Towards Becoming World Class" saya dapati mempunyai kesinambungan dengan tema persidangan tahun lepas iaitu "Kecemerlangan Perkhidmatan Awam - Meningkatkan Kelebihan Daya Saing dan Globalisasi".
3. Saya ingin meneruskan ucapan saya dalam Bahasa Inggeris oleh kerana terdapatnya kehadiran beberapa orang pembentang kertas daripada luar negara, bagi membolehkan mereka turut serta dalam membicarakan isu-isu yang akan dibincangkan kelak.
4. According to Dr Rosabeth Moss Kanter in her latest book, "World Class", she says, `World class ... suggest both the need to meet the highest standards anywhere in order to compete and the growth of a social class defined by its ability to command resources and operate beyond borders and across wide territories'. The civil service of Malaysia should continue to strive towards achieving a world class civil service to support a private sector that can compete in a highly competitive global environment, as well as to provide locally, the best service in areas such as health, education, environment, infrastructure, public utilities etc.
Our Prime Minister in his speech in Malta at the recent CAPAM Conference (April 22, 1996) said as follows:- "A good government administration cannot be of a lower quality than its clients - largely the private sector. It must complement the private sector fully if it is going to serve the country and contribute towards its growth and the well-being of the people. .... the civil service has a crucial role to play and it is necessary that they appreciate them and take immediate steps to make themselves relevant." According to the World Competitiveness Report, 1994 (a report released by The World Economic Forum and the International Institute for Management based in Geneva) for the Government Sector, which includes the responsiveness of the public service, Malaysia ranks 4th in the world ranking. Success like quality is an unending pursuit. "Success" has been defined as "the progresive realization of worthy goals"; so we must continue to strive to reach the top of the ladder.
5. The effectiveness and efficiency of the public service as well as its facilitating role has helped the country's economic development. This we have accomplished through the introduction of numerous administrative measures which are designed to provide high quality services to the private sector and the society at large. Among these measures are:- i) the introduction of a detailed manual and work instructions called Manual of Work Procedures and Desk Files; the establishment of Quality Control Circles and the implementation of Productivity Measurement; ii) the institutionalization of the Client's Charter; iii) the establishment of various types of one-stop service centres such as one-stop payment centres, and the Public Services Network, a facility which enables government agencies to offer on-line services through post offices; iv) the use of composite forms and composite licences; v) the implementation of Electronic Data Interchange or EDI to facilitate trade, and which replaces the need for paper documents and is thus suitable for the sending and receipt of purchase orders, invoices, bills of lading and other trade documents; vi) the establishment of the Civil Service Link and other data bases, which stress on a more systematic information collection and dissemination system; vii) the proposed establishment of a comprehensive telecommunications infrastructure known as the Government Integrated Telecommunications Network (GITN), which will provide, amongst others, services such as video conferencing, electronic mail, bulletin boards, distance learning, `tele- medicine' for the transmission and exchange of medical and patients' records among government hospitals, work-flow automation and work group applications.
6. To be world class, and at par with the best, we have to continue the quality revolution in the public service. In fact I would suggest we think of two Qs: Quality and Quickness. One of the important attributes of quality is to be responsive to customer needs and this means Quickness of Response. Members of the public want speedy approvals of their house plans, certificates of fitness for occupation of their newly-built houses, quick service at the immigration counters, at hospital dispensaries etc. The business community want quick approvals for company incorporation, trade licences, manufacturing licences, duty drawbacks, patent rights, approval of industrial premises, crucial market information on their products and services, etc. If speed is the essence in doing business, then systems and procedures, particularly those that ensure accuracy, reliability, consistency and simplicity will have to be put in place. The public service will be implementing ISO 9000 very soon. Malaysia will be the first country that will adopt ISO 9000 in its entire public service. Gearing ourselves to world class means that we will gear ourselves to implementing ISO 9000.
7. Training of public servants should emphasise the sharpening of core competencies covering the three broad areas of conceptual, technical and interpersonal skills. However, the emphasis will vary depending on whether the officer is in the upper, middle or lower levels of management. The conceptual skills are skills related to `higher order activity' more relevant to the upper level management where the need is to see issues, recognise problems, strategise, and think systems.
On the other hand, the technical skills are the operational skills, the hands-on type of skills which are needed at the lower rung of management.
The middle level management needs a balance of both the conceptual and the technical skills as they act as the interface between the top level management and the lower level of management. However, across all levels of management is the requirement for interpersonal skills. No one works alone in any organization; people will have to network and build relationships at all levels of management vertically as well as horizontally. As such, training programs in public sector training institutions particularly INTAN will have to take into consideration these aspects of skills development focussing on core competency areas. Among the topical areas that need to be given emphasis are: i) total development concept for 2020; ii)comparative public administration; iii) contemporary economic and finance issues; iv) cross cultural interations; v)geo political studies; vi) crisis management; vii) strategies for global competition; viii) strategic management of technology; ix) lateral thinking and mindfulness; x) creativity and innovation; xi) problem solving; xii) negotiation skills; xiii) communication skills; xiv) team leadership and interpersonal skills; xv) quality management and standard; and xvi) information technology. The public service officers, particularly the Administrative and Diplomatic Service officers and other pofessional officers have to be exposed to these areas early in their career and then progressively as they move up the ladder.
8. World class also means the ability to command resources and operate beyond borders. In this regard, our public service should have the ability to support our private sector to effectively operate beyond our shores. There are many ways in which this can be done. Firstly, in business, the question of integrity and image are very critical elements.
In this connection, besides facilitating the business sector through enhancing the administrative processes, the public service must see itself as the custodian of Malaysia's good image overseas, and assist in the conduct of business with good ethics, to see that our businessmen conduct dealings with reputable partners overseas; secondly, the public service has to focus on establishing connections and networking; examine investment opportunities and facilitate the entry of Malaysian products and services to new markets.
9. The country should never be allowed to suffer from a deep crisis of faith in the public service; the people must not criticise us as a faceless bureaucracy that is unable to accurately meet personalized services; the people must not be allowed to spend their precious time finding answers to their questions, after being bounced from department to department. The new information technology appears to be the key enabler of public service transformation. The notion of an electronic civil service seem to spark interest. During the Seventh Malaysia Plan period, the thrust of IT development will be to further develop IT infrastructure in order to create a strong foundation for building a knowledge-based industrial economy. We are on the threshold of an electronic civil service, an internetworked civil service, linking with the tax payers, suppliers, business customers etc; some institutions in the society such as schools, laboratories, mass media, hospitals and other nations around the world. To a certain extent, the public service has used the electronic system to deliver better quality services and products to the public more quickly, cost effectively, and conveniently. In other words, gearing towards world class must mean designing delivery of services around the needs of our clients, rather than just the old structures or the convenience of civil servants.
10. Saya dengan sukacitanya merasmikan Persidangan Perkhidmatan Awam 1996.