Rebas lagi

Today we must congratulate the PM on his wedding. We wish him a happy wedding and moga-moga bahagia ke akhir hayat. Amin. Hopefully he manage the country firmer and better after this.
I must also congratulate the KSN for coming out with a directive that ban the government departments from buying advertising space in the media to congratulate some big shots for getting Tan Sri, Datuk or whatever, or thanking big shots for officiating their functions. The circular was not necessary in the first place, why would we pay hefty sums to thank our ministers, politicians or head of departments for officiating events. That is their jobs anyway. I am sure in the opening speeches, profuse of terima kasih, terima kasih daun keladi, menjunjung kasih or whatever must have been endlessly offered by the organisers. Do we really need to pay the media thousands of ringgit to repeat what have been said in those speeches? I think the KSN should go one step further, ban the use of buntings, banners, sepanduk, kain rentang that adorn the arches, lamp posts, trees, signboards for miles in welcoming the dignitaries. If it is really necessary – the organisers may need to inform the public of their events, and banners is the simplest way – by all means do it but be moderate about it. This cost a lot of money and not to mention the amount of rubbish created afterwards. Some organisers, just do not bother to remove the banners after the events, instead just opting to let them rot in the sun and rain until the poor PBT workers remove them. The argument is, we have paid the deposit, let them do their job of cleaning up. It is the same mentality that habitual litterers used. “The sweepers are paid to clean up, why are paying them if they are no rubbish to sweep? Nanti mereka tak ada kerja pula…”
From my observation, this over the top psychopantic behaviour (if there is such a term) is a recent phenomenon. Maybe started in the late nineties. Sometimes I got this feeling that the bosses of the department who resorted to this practice are so worried over their positions and future, or so eager to impress, they would resort to all kind of things to show that they are indeed grateful and they are truly indebted. Recently I went to a government department and I was greeted with a huge colourful digitally printed banner at the entrance pronouncing the gratitude of the staff and congratulatory note to the department’s director who was recently promoted to another department. Similar banners were displayed in various other places in the compound. Maybe the staff are so grateful that the fella is leaving, they are rejoicing!!! In my years of service in government departments, directors come and go every few years (sometime months). It is all normal transfer and promotion or retirement process in the civil service. Hardly any need for big banners! Normally a simple reception would suffice. Maybe a slightly grander affair if the fella is retiring. I think, this newly creeping culture in the civil service should be curbed to prevent wastage. I also wonder, under which heading, the money for all these are parked. You see, the Treasury had very strict procedures in spending public money. Department’s budget are prepared two years in advance and spending are allocated according to various headings. Monies parked under certain headings, cannot be simply used under different headings without approval from higher authorities. That is one of the reason why government machineries are so bureaucratic, one cannot simply used the money that have been allocated to certain things for something else. Approval must be obtained to change the usage. But the rule has to be there for prudence, after all we are dealing with duit rakyat. Public money is our money. So spend them wisely civil servants, please.

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