DPM to civil servants: Era of government knows best is over

By Shaun Ho, The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The civil service must be ready to accept public feedback and be responsive to their expectations.

“The era of the Government knows best is over,” Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said in his speech before officiating the 15th Civil Service Conference 2010 here Tuesday.

He said the public had access to information, which could sometimes be inaccurate and the civil service needed to be ready to professionally handle any issue raised by the public.

“The civil service can create various channels for the public and private sector to engage in governance processes and decision-making, such as dialogues and consultative meetings.

He acknowledged that not all governance mechanisms could be opened for public participation, but urged the civil service to encourage citizens to actively participate in development programs.

The New Economic Model (NEM) required a new framework of governance that empowered the people, he said, adding that the trust and confidence accorded to the public might motivate them to be “loyal and excellent” citizens.

Muhyiddin stressed that success of the NEM alos depended on the private sector which played a leading role in driving the economy.

He called on the private sector to secure new markets with high growth potential and strive to make Malaysia the regional hub for goods and services.

“It is now time for us to rethink and reshape our institutional framework to become a better and more resilient model to ensure the continued sustainability of Malaysia’s growth,” he said.