New scheme to weed out mediocrity; high performance to be rewarded accordingly
The government will introduce a new reward system to motivate civil servants and inculcate the culture of high performance in the public sector.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the country was facing a huge challenge and that although the country was successful, it remained trapped in the middle-income group.
“This means that if we don’t do something, we will remain in this middle-income trap. Meaning, we are neither poor nor rich. This is the biggest challenge for the country … how we can motivate ourselves so that we are not stuck at where we are but to move forward to become a truly successful country in our own mould,” he said at the Prime Minister’s Department’s monthly gathering here yesterday.
Najib said he and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as well as Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan were now looking into the reward system.
“Maybe we need to rename the Quality Day as Innovation Day. We want to formulate a more meaningful reward system, unlike the previous one where civil servants were given vertical or diagonal salary increment.
“This is not an effective system because we can collude to abuse the system; this year, it’s my turn (to get the vertical or diagonal increment), next year, it’s your turn. And don’t me tell it didn’t happen. It happened, I know,” he said.
Najib said that the new reward system was to show that the government would not tolerate mediocrity or abuse of power.
On the other hand, he said, high performance should be rewarded accordingly.
“We should reward depart-ments which collected more taxes or those which are successful in prosecutions or those which produced compelling products from research and development activities,” he said.
He also called for an end to incidence of abuse and mismanagement as pointed out in the Auditor-General’s Report, saying it reflected badly on the government.
“People have gotten cynical. Each time a report is produced, they say it’s just a report and no action will be taken.
“It’s the same old story; our performance is not getting better and the people are criticising us. This will affect the government,” he said.
Najib also called on department heads not to tolerate mediocrity among officers.
“You don’t need to scold them of course. You can call them to your office and tell them that their performances are not up to the quality as expected of them.
“Just those words it would be good enough. There’s no need for table thumping or raising your voice.
“As a department head, you just say words; I’m sure the officer, next time around, will produce a better quality work,” he said.