All large or important organisations display lofty vision and mission statements but they appear hollow when its personnel could not manage the simplest of tasks, such as offering a smile.
Being courteous is enshrined in our Rukunegara but is lacking at all levels of our society. Courtesy cannot be taught as it has to be led by example.
The late Adibah Amin was a truly great Malaysian. In her book ‘This End of the Rainbow’, she wrote “Gentleness and kindness are power because it takes a really strong person to be gentle and kind”.
Today, we have many rude and loud leaders hogging the limelight, fiercely proud of what they have said and done, when sane minded people would have been utterly ashamed.
The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of private sector organisations are largely profit driven, and they have to, or close shop eventually.
KPIs for government agencies are largely determined by those who run them, but who is to know how high or low the bar should be set?
As for me, it should start with transparency, which is often used as a general term.
I like to be specific and will give top marks to any government agency which takes the trouble to find out exactly what the citizens want.
It can collate all requests and group them under a few main categories, such as approved, rejected with reasons given, and those under consideration.
All these should be posted in the agency’s website and accessible to the public, so that people do not have to waste time making the same requests without knowing that decisions have already been made.
In this way, the government will know exactly what the citizens want, and the rakyat well informed on what is possible and what is not.
When government officials act as civil servants to serve the people, they will earn the true respect of the rakyat.
I am fortunate to have met and dealt with many good and dedicated government officials, and would like to see their numbers increase, as they can help our country grow to what it can be.
Y S Chan