Civil service, Executives must work professionally to avoid conflict

WHEN outgoing Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador dropped a bombshell on political interference in police affairs, a Umno leader said good governance requires professionalism from all quarters.

“Total separation of public service from political interference requires the highest degree of professionalism from both sides.

“A minister must be aware of their powers and limitations. The public service must also understand that their primary task is to implement Government policies with utmost professionalism and transparency,” said Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan in a Facebook post.

Recently, in a no-holds-barred press conference, Hamid criticised Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin for allegedly interfering in police matters unnecessarily and blamed him for creating factions within the force.

“Hamzah, in his capacity as the Police Force Commission (PFC) president, keeps meddling in the transfer of officers.

“A minister should not interrupt the police’s daily affairs. They can give directions or mandate on issues, not decide who becomes deputy director or the next IGP,” he said.

Hamid said that he had brought the matter to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin but no action was taken.

Hamzah himself, who was featured in an audio clip discussing promotions and transfer of police officers, claimed that he acted within his powers as the chairman of the Police Force Commission.

Public service answerable to taxpayers

On that note, Mohamad said that the best from of governance is where the public system is free from political meddling, yet functions effectively to implement policies enacted by the executives, who are mandated through election.

He added that Government operations are the responsibilities of civil servants, and it is up to them to manage them.

“Ideally, there should be no political interference in the matters of Government operations.

“An independent public service is crucial. Without independence, the professionalism of public service will be compromised,” the Rantau lawmaker opined.

The former banker also reminded civil servants that they cannot escape public scrutiny and accountability, as they are funded by taxpayers.

“Therefore, there needs to be a plethora of independent mechanisms to investigate, review and submit improvements to the public service from time to time.

“Open confrontation between public servants and ministers is avoidable if both sides are able to uphold the highest level of professionalism,” Mohamad added.

He stated that the private sector in Malaysia have gone far in terms of improving corporate governance and business, through active and rigorous regulatory system.

“And I see a significant governance gap between public service and the private sector. The room for improvement in the public service is still wide.

“Therefore, efforts towards improving that must be intensified immediately for the sake of a world-class public service, Insha Allah,” Mohamad remarked. – May 3, 2021.


Photo credit: Johorpress

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