Speeches
Talking Points for YAB CM State Level Civil Service Day 2018
Deliver on 02 Dec 2018

Click here talking points for YAB CM State Level Civil Service Day 2018 for pdf files.

 

TALKING POINTS FOR YAB CM

STATE LEVEL CIVIL SERVICE DAY 2018

 

 

Assalammualaikum warahmaturllahi wabarakatuh,

Salam Sejahtera dan Salam IbuPertiwiku

 

MUKADIMAH

Saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada YB Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri dan jentera pentadbiran Kerajaan Sarawak yang telah menjemput dan memberi saya penghormatan untuk hadir pada majlis yang amat bermakna pada malam yang berbahagia ini.

Saya dan seluruh Kabinet Sarawak ingin mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan terima kasih kepada seluruh jentera pentadbiran Sarawak yang telah bekerja dengan gigih dan memberi komitmen yang jitu bagi mempastikan Sarawak ditadbir dengan baik demi kesejahteraan seluruh rakyat Sarawak Bumi Kenyalang.

Pada malam ini saya tidak berucap secara mendalam untuk menggariskan perkembangan dan kemajuan dalam sistem pentadbiran kita. YB Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri sudah memperincikan apa yang harus direncanakan untuk memastikan Perkhidmatan Awam Sarawak mampu bergerak seiring dengan masa ke arah sebuah sistem yang moden, dynamic dan berkeupayaan melaksanakan program pembangunan mengikut kehendak dan aspirasi rakyat.

 

ANSWERING TO THE NEEDS OF TIME

Ladies and gentlemen, through the years we have seen how our administration have expanded from merely five administrative divisions to the current twelve (12). The latest addition to the administrative division is Serian. The expansion is aimed at bringing our government services closer to the rakyat. Before the upgrading of Serian into a division the people from Serian have to travel to Kota Samarahan in some of their dealings with government departments and agencies. This is of course is time consuming and involved cost but now they don’t have to go to Kota Samarahan anymore as they have departments at divisional level right at their doorsteps in Serian.

A lot of sub-districts have also been upgraded to a full district status thus making it easier for the rakyat to obtain government services. Remote places like Tunoh in Kapit have also been upgraded to a full district because its about time for the government to be close to the people there who have always wished to have government services near to them.

But above all, we expand and upgrade the reach of our administration to ensure that our development is well-distributed. We do not want even the furthest of places to the interior and the coastal areas to be left out in the process of our economic and social development.

In other aspects, I know our State Civil Service have been taking steps in earnest in the past two or three decades to modernise itself and upgrade the quality of services to our rakyat. In fact, our State Civil Service is among the best in the country, if not the best and I, on behalf of the Cabinet and the people of Sarawak, wishes to express our profound gratitude to our State Civil Servants for their commitment to ensure that our State Government is well-managed for the benefits of all Sarawakians.

 

RECORD STATE BUDGET & RECORD STATE REVENUE

Ladies and gentlemen, at the rate of development we have experienced in the past 55 years, Sarawak will always be left behind the rest of the country. Sarawak is a big place and some administrators from across the South China Sea do not understand or realise how much more attention Sarawak should be given to enable it to catch up with the more developed parts of the country.

But we can’t afford to blame others or ourselves for all our shortcomings, and we can’t hope that others will be nice to us and genuinely come to our aid. If we do so hope we are making a big mistake and we do not want to make such a mistake anymore. This is not politics but thats the way we should approach our development now in order to accelerate progress particularly infrastructural facilities in our rural areas.

Neither should we beg all the time for others to give us money to finance our development although it is their obligation to give us our share of allocation. I have always believed as a Muslim that when I come to face my creator, the Angel will ask me, “what have you done to the God-fearing people of Sarawak to give them a good life”, and I believe God will ask the same question to those who have not been fair to Sarawak.

I do not want to dwell in too much rhetoric and all I want to do as Chief Minister and Minister of Finance is to ensure that our economy is strengthened and Sarawak can bigger revenue in the years to come to support our administration and development programmes. As you have already known our state budget for next year is the biggest so far and our state revenue will be the biggest in all our 55 years as a government.

Observers have expected me to use our state reserve to finance the massive development expenditure in the next two years. They were wrong when we introduced the sales tax on petroleum and gas-based products for export starting 1st January 2019. Our state reserve is there to stay and to be strengthened with a surplus next year.

 

TASK OF IMPLEMENTING DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES

The task of implementing all the development projects that have been approved in the next two years is gigantic. I am glad that we have established the State Development Coordination Committee to monitor the progress of all these projects and to ensure that they are in compliance with practices of good governance.

The change of Federal Government has not made life easy for us in Sarawak when a total of 315 Projek Mesra Rakyat (PMR) all over the state were cancelled. But we cannot let our people suffer because of these cancellations. We are taking over the shelved projects for the sake of the people who are hungry for development to come their way.

The state government is prepared to provide allocation to finance priority, high impact and people centric projects. Continuing the socio economic development and stepping up the implementation of rural transformation projects are our priority. We will provide from our state coffer the funds that are necessary for the construction of roads and bridges, rural water and electricity supplies facilities as well as other people centric projects under the eleventh Malaysia plan.

 

CHALLENGES OF THE CIVIL SERVICE

Ladies and gentlemen, the people are always watching us in the way we deliver our services to them. Fast, slow, efficient or inefficient, courteous or discourteous, with the greatest of quality or otherwise – they will judge us. We have to set our standards and fulfil the expectations of the rakyat.

The advent of digitalisation even make the delivery of our services even more challenging as the people expects everything to be at their fingertips. They want to pay their bills online or by mobile phone in the convenience of their own time; they want fast approval to their government applications, etc.

We cannot escape digitalisation because if we try to ignore it, take it easy and say that it is not important we will be left behind by the whole world. Even small countries like Estonia is far ahead of us and is now reaping the fruits of digitalisation. For this very reason we enacted our Sarawak Multi-Media Authority Ordinance (SMA) last year to provide us the policy framework to ensure that our digitalisation effort is on a firm footing with a clear direction forward.

Right from the start we recognised the importance of digitalisation to the economy and that for this reason I introduced the digital economic policy when I took over from the late Tok Nan.

And of course, as you might already knew we have to put a reliable and widespread digital infrastructure in place so that every place in Sarawak can have 4G services. This is not easy as Sarawak is not only big in size but also sparsely populated with a mountainous terrain in the interior. The 2019 budget has set aside an allocation for the construction of 600 more telecommunication towers all over the state and these should improve the Internet connection especially in the rural areas.

 

INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

Ladies and gentlemen, the book “Machines that Think” tells us how Facebook Artificial Intelligence (AI) Software with its social network around the world was probably able to map more in a week than the entire humanity has mapped in our entire history. Another book “Big Data” tells us how Google was also able to predict quite accurately the spread of the bird flue H1N1 in the United States by analysing the hundreds of millions of “clicks” on the smartphones.

What I am trying to tell you is that digital economy is the name of the game now. We are not just trying to introduce electronic government or e-services here and there but a whole range Internet of Things, from government services to agriculture and to trade and commerce to transform the economy.

 

INTEGRITY, TRANSPARENCY IN THE CIVIL SERVICE

Ladies and gentlemen, while we are very enthusiastic about providing the best for our people in terms of project implementation, we acknowledge the importance of integrity and transparency in the civil service. Corruption, abuse of power and cronyism in government administration will destroy the civil service and the economy. The first few things I did when I took over as Chief Minister was to take a pledge of integrity with all the Cabinet Ministers and we have not forgotten what we have pledged to the discerning rakyat.

To strengthen our commitment towards ensuring a clean government I have indicated that we will be putting trained Integrity Officers in ministries and departments to ensure that the delivery of services and project are carried out in a transparent manner. We shall require the assistance of MACC to train our officers and the Sarawak Director of MACC has shown willingness to help us to produce Integrity Officers.

This should end lobbying for government projects which sometimes causes delay of project implementation and failure of projects because the best people are not engaged to carry out the projects. With the exception of projects requiring special expertise all government projects will be implemented based on open tender. This is our commitment towards increasing the integrity and transparency of our State Government and I want all our state civil servants to be God-fearing people in the service of the people and all those who come to deal with us.

 

CONCLUSION

Ladies and gentlemen, the decision to give a one-and-a-half-month bonus or a minimum of RM2,000 to our state civil servants for 2018 is a way of showing our gratitude and appreciation for your hard work and excellent service throughout the year.

It is my duty as Chief Minister to look for the money to run the government and implement development projects. The next two years will be even more challenging for all our civil servants as billions worth of infrastructural development projects and amenities need to take off the ground and needed to be implemented successfully.

Not only that, we have to ensure that our economic transformation journey towards a digital economy are always on the right track.

I sincerely hope that all of you are even more motivated as implementers in the two years ahead not because of the prospect of more financial rewards but simply because it is our voomon duty to ensure that Sarawak is well on the road to become an advanced state. As Sarawakians, we must be proud of Sarawak and always willing to contribute to its development to the best of our ability. 

Once again, thank you and enjoy the rest of the evening.

Speeches By: YAB Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg