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Civil servants to blame for the blank report card by Abdullah after three years as Prime Minister? Too facile and cowardly an answer


Media Statement (2) 
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Parliament, Friday) : The civil servants are to blame for the blank report card of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after three years as Prime Minister?


This seemed to be the consensus of the one-day “National Seminar on Abdullah Ahmad Badawi: Three Years in Putrajaya: Tracking the Country’s Future” yesterday.


The New Straits Times summed it up in its headline: “’First-class’ policies, but poor delivery” – “His plans are excellent and practical. But he is being let down by poor implementation”.


Or as Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Social Sciences lecturer, Dr. Sivamurugan Pandian put it: “The policymakers, the ones who execute it and the target group are three distinct bodies. What happens is that sometimes the policymakers fail to explain the fundamentals of the policies to the executing agencies.


“Those who are supposed to implement the plans would either take their own time in executing the plans, or because they do not have a clear idea what the policies intend to achieve, carry it out halfway.  And this is where the policies fail.”


This is a most facile and cowardly answer for the blank report card by Abdullah in his first three years as Prime Minister.


Civil servants are not free from blame, but to exculpate the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Ministers from responsibility  for the blank record in the past three years is the height of irresponsibility and intellectual cowardice, which could contribute nothing to end the drift and rudderless direction which has afflicted Abdullah’s government. .


Instead of a more efficient delivery system, the end of last year and the beginning of this year bear shocking witness to a serious breakdown of  public service standards almost on all fronts – whether management and prevention of disasters like the Johore and Malacca monster floods, basic hospital and medical care, fighting rampant crime or rooting out corruption.


Although Abdullah said “I am in control”, nobody seems to be in control of his government with its standards going from bad to worse.


The blame must fall squarely on the policy makers and not just policy-implementors, for failing to come up with good and sound policies.



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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