Public service needs overhaul to be more efficient with less red tape

A screengrab of Tiong debating the TYT's address during today's DUN sitting broadcast live through Ukas' Facebook page.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 20: Dudong assemblyman Dato Sri Tiong King Sing has called for an overhaul of Sarawak government departments, agencies and government-linked companies (GLCs) to bring reorganisation and do away with bureaucratic red tape causing public frustration, delayed works and hindered progress.

He has urged Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg to “relook, improve and reform ministries, agencies and GLCs as well as simplify processes that could lead to better and more efficient services on the ground”.

With that, Tiong has suggested that the Premier look into the possibility of allowing elected representatives without ministerial positions, social and political elites or even professionals to helm the chairman position or as board members in government agencies or GLCs.

“The present provisions under the State Constitution stipulate that the chairman including board members in some government agencies or GLCs must be held by a minister, deputy minister or secretary-general of relevant ministry.

“(However) The civil servants may be beholden to the service and afraid to speak out. (Moreover) They may be bogged down with red tape as well as meetings after meetings,” he highlighted when debating on the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak’s address at Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting today.

The elected lawmakers, he added, can become the bridge for all parties, both private and public sectors as well as the public, while at the same time, they could draw in resources and cooperation to resolve various issues and shortcomings in the public service system.

“We must encourage diversification and participation in the system. Ministers, deputy ministers and secretary-generals should focus on planning, development, rectify issues, reduce bureaucracy, remove hindrances and simplify policies to enable progress and advancement, real actions to be taken, and bring about practical solutions and changes.

“That’s why our people are frustrated as over the years, they have experienced the excessive bureaucracy, inefficient implementation of policies and rectification of shortcomings to bring about solutions that could address public concerns that have been raised repeatedly,” he said.

Tiong stressed the need to simplify processes in the public service system to make it more people-centric and friendly so as not to cause public confusion and inconveniences to the extent people do not know who and where to turn to with their concerns and problems.

“Such as JKR (Public Works Department) and Sesco, their functions need to be decentralised by empowering the regional office to be more accountable in resolving issues and project implementations in respective areas.

“This can ensure that people’s problems and public complaints can be promptly settled, instead of referring to regional offices,” he added. — DayakDaily