Anwar hammers from New York over disappointing embarrassment back home

Letter to editor

OUR Prime Minister (PM) who has taken a hard-working team to the US to clinch the crème de la crème businesses which are eagerly sought after by many nations must be a painfully disappointed leader.

Right thinking Malaysians will understand the frustration felt by our PM who was told by prospective business leaders in New York that business approvals are being delayed too long (and unreasonably for certain) in Malaysia.

Indeed, what this reflects is the long-buried fact that our civil servants – and especially the many little Napoleons – are ruining all the good work of our new government.

It can be very painful for any leader of a nation to be told the truth as to why businesses are not keen to come to invest.

It is time for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to take the bull by the horn upon his return. Enough is enough.

Even Malaysians back home will share their frustrations when dealing with business approving authorities – let alone for many other applications and follow-ups.

It is time to give the marching order to either shape up or ship out.

Fear of losing popular support or even succumbing to hidden black mails of losing political support cannot be the reason to fail again in resetting our national standards of efficiency, effectiveness and prompt productivity.

In a highly competitive global investment marketplace where technology is racing at unprecedented pace, time and ease of doing business are categorical pre-requisites.

It is time therefore that we marshalled our courage to put an end to failing, falling dereliction of duties.

If we truly love our nation, then we must have the strength to dispense the bitter medicine that can purge the civil service of little Napoleons and unproductive, unmotivated, lethargic and uncommitted civil servants.

In this age and time, third world and developing nations – especially our immediate neighbours – know too well that speed and ease of doing business are pivotal considerations.

About 90% of the 1.2 million civil servants are Bumiputera and the government does not impose any quota for the intake based on race or ethnicity, former minister in the prime minister’s department Datuk Dr Abd Latiff Ahmad told the Dewan Rakyat in July 2022

We need more than warnings to shape up. We need to re-visit policies and organisational structures.

We need to, above all, break away from the long tradition of regarding the civil service as a Malay/Bumiputera vote bank. We need to – to begin with – do away with pension schemes and the ‘permanent job security’ mindsets.

Let us face it. We certainly need to re-size the civil service population. All of these are what will get the approving authorities, ministries and agencies into fighting fit performance.

If we cannot have the will to do so, then our sense of patriotism and love for the nation’s future is suspect.

Hopefully, all of us will not be blinkered by our own selfish needs as much as politicians will put the nation’s success ahead of their own political game plans.

What has surfaced in New York in the PM’s dash for investment trophies is a thundering wake up call for structural and policy reform.

Are we ready? Are we willing? Will we succeed? The answers are in the unity government’s actions under PMX’s leadership. – Sept 26, 2023


J.D. Lovrenciear is a Kuala Lumpur-based writer, trainer and consultant who also offers his time to support initiatives to build a progressive society.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Main pic credit: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Facebook

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE