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20 April 2009

FOLLOW JPJ' LEAD DEPTS URGED

The Star
20/4/2009




JAYA: The move by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) to have its promotion list vetted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commis- sion (MACC) should be adopted by all government agencies and departments, Centre of Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said.
There should also be a strong political will to ensure the practice of vetting the civil service was constantly adhered to, he added.
He was commenting on Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat’s announcement yesterday that JPJ enforcement staff members being considered for promotions would be screened by the MACC. The move was part of JPJ’s efforts to develop integrity as a key value in the department.
“It has not been fully practised in the past. This announcement resuscitates the principle,” he told The Star.
Navaratnam, a former Transport Ministry secretary-general, pointed out that it had always been the practice of the civil service to check the records of its officers.
“The only thing new here is the direct involvement of the MACC. I expect it to exercise greater diligence and higher standards in scrutinising candidates for promotion to ensure they are civil servants of high integrity,” he said.
On new JPJ recruits being spared from the screening, Navaratnam described it as a good move.
“It is not practical to vet the employment list. Those starting out fresh do not have track records yet. What is important is that the leaders and head of departments must be clean,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cuepacs president Omar Osman hoped that the move to vet civil servants would not affect their morale and make them feel “as if they could not be trusted.”
“Every agency or department has a selection committee that looks into promotions of civil servants.
“The committee would know their background and their eligibility. As long as they are serving well, and are not being investigated by the MACC, they are assumed to be clean,” he said.
Fomca secretary-general Muham-mad Sha’ani Abdullah, however, disagreed, saying that civil servants had no right to say anyone was interfering with their work if the intention was to improve efficiency in the delivery system. “It is the priority of the Government to ensure that the civil service is clean. When there is no transparency, the people will not be convinced,” he said, adding that the move should not just be confined to JPJ officers but across the civil service.

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