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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Zam: Ahmad’s two jobs idea reminds us of Indonesia

Deputy Minister Ahmad Maslan does not seem to appreciate the widespread negative impact given his suggestion that workers take on a second job to cope with the rising cost of living.
zamKUALA LUMPUR: A former Information Minister, commenting on Deputy Minister Ahmad Maslan’s suggestion that workers consider taking on a second job to cope with the rising cost of living, recalls Indonesia going through a similar period under President Sukarno and right up to the time of Jokowi now. “Civil servants in Indonesia hardly worked. They would clock in and by afternoon they would disappear to do a second job.”
“We are headed in that direction. Ahmad’s suggestion shows that our society is crumbling especially among politicians.”
Ahmad’s suggestion is a manifestation of the civil service going to the dogs when something should be done to put things right, added Zainuddin Maidin, the former Information Minister and at one time Editor-in-Chief of Utusan Malaysia. “Things are no longer what they were during the time of Mahathir Mohamad when he was Prime Minister and Daim Zainuddin was Finance Minister.”
Zainuddin thinks that Ahmad’s suggestion, if taken up, would have a negative impact on the morale and work ethics of the civil service. “There’s no doubt that he had the civil servants in mind when he made the suggestion.”
Already, he added, civil servants are goofing on the job, and can also be seen loafing here and there, hanging around the mamak shops even in Putrajaya during working hours. “Teachers are already giving private tuition to their own students, a sign of the erosion in discipline and values in the civil service and in the teaching profession.”
Ahmad, noted Zainuddin, advertently or inadvertently conveys the impression that workers in Malaysia are no better than that in Indonesia, or Thailand for that matter, backward and poverty-stricken. “This is an example of a Minister who doesn’t understand what values mean.”
“The emphasis in the civil service should be on productivity and efficiency in line with the Vision 2020 targets, and not taking on a second job, and thereby being distracted from one’s regular job.”
The former Information Minister looks back on the past 50-odd years. The civil service had then been all about dedication, initiative, and maintaining the values and traditions that saw the nation undergoing rapid development and progress since independence in 1957.

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