By DAP MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, on Saturday, 24th January 1981:
Call on all government department to improve on their service and efficiency following civil service salary increase
Six months ago, the government increased the salaries of civil service employee which cost an added government bill of some $600 million.
Unfortunately, this great increase in the salary bill of the government employee have not been accompanied by an improvement in the service, courtesy and efficiency of government departments.
During my visits to Puchong and Petaling Jaya, accompanied by Selangor State Assemblyman, Sdr. Pan Su Peng , and Petaling DAP Liaison Committee Chairman, Sdr. Yap Ah Ngau, Secretary, Sdr. Tai Sin Piau and Treasurer, Sdr. Tai Sin Ng, I have received many complaints of how uncivil and how lacking in service is the Malaysian civil service.
For instance, one complained that he had to go to the Business Registry in Jalan Duta three times on three different days before he could renew his Business Registration licence, causing great inconvenience and hardship. Surely, it is not beyond the imagination and capability of the Business Registry to organise its public counters in such a fashion that renewals of business licences could be dealt with despatch and efficiency, without causing people to go three times before they could get served.
In Puchong, I was informed that people who went to the District office in Petaling Jaya to pay their assessments received a special treatment.
The District Office refused to accept payments of their assessment on the ground that they had not paid their previous assessment, and despite protests and assurances by the ratepayers that they had already cleared their previous assessment, the District office insist that they should produce proof that they had paid their previous assessment. As a result, the ratepayers who do not have the previous assessment receipts, had to go back to Puchong all the way for their old receipts and return to PJ District Office to pay their current assessment. This is most deplorable and show how indifferent and high-handed are the government departments in their dealings with the ordinary public.
The Prime Minister’s Department should give all government department which deal with the ordinary public in large number an orientation to make them really people-oriented and sympathetic to the problem that would be caused to ordinary Malaysians if they are delays, whether in terms of wages lost, long distance to be travelled, etc.
The Government should not treat the people as a captive people, who the government can do what it liked. The people of Puchong, for instance, complained that although there had been an increase of assessment, there had been no improvement in the services provided in Puchong, and the garbage pile high, the drains remain clogged, the main road at Puchong 14 m.s. is dimly-lit, while there is no public lighting for most of Puchong.
The civil servants are the employee of the people, and the people have the right to expect that they are treated with courtesy and efficiency.