Saturday, April 11, 2009

father knows best...or is it?

"The clear message is that everyone wants a government that is responsive to the needs of the people today. The era where the government has excessive control and adopts a 'government knows best' attitude is over...

I believe that the effort to reform the country starts with revamping the government, with a new cabinet with new responsibilities and a new structure...

Datuk Seri Najib Razak"

New Straits Times (NST) Headline, April 10, 2009, on the day the new cabinet was announced. The quote above gives new meaning, perspectives and a completely new ball game to the business of government, if you ask me. I want to think that this 'new' approach is a positive step forward but I do have some reservations as the statement may have implications and probable dysfunctional consequences. Who is the government referred to here? The civil servants? or civil servants and political masters? Correct me if I am wrong but when we say 'the government of the day', does it not mean the politicians in power and the civil servants entrusted with the administration and management of the country? Again, if we want to be petty with real definitions, administration and management have distinct features separating each other (which I would not want to elaborate now). Perhaps it is the new regime's way of redefining government's roles and responsibilities that is not far off from Osborne&Gabler's 'reinventing government' propagated by Tun Mahathir in 1992? Read here. Just my two sen thoughts for the weekend... I think most people look forward to a strong government. Anyone preferring a weak government please raise your hand? Oh by the way, Congratulations to YAB Prime Minister and his SAF is in order I believe.

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