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Our civil servants could be as generous as Malaysian's but ministers must lead

09 June 2021 Editorial Desk
Our civil servants could be as generous as Malaysian's but ministers must lead

All civil servants in Malaysia, estimated number of them is around 8, 00,000; have been asked by their government to contribute to a special Covid fund through deductions in their entertainment and fixed allowances.

The total contributions from 800,000 civil servants for three months will be around US$ 9.6 million, where the front-liners and those from grades 1 to 28 will be kept excluded from deduction.

We must say it's a great example of self-sacrificing by Malaysian civil servants in the greater cause of the nation when money matters in response to Covid treatment and vaccination. A total of US$9.4 million will be a big help for their government during the abnormal pandemic situation.  

The institution is up there so servants are not servants for everything their bosses ask them to do. That is why under a democratic constitution nobody is government servant. Everybody is a public servant to serve the people.

The civil service under a socialist government is bound to do everything, what the government desires. But an autocratic government treats civil service under political consideration only to create division among civil servants making them morally weak.

In Bangladesh, pandemic has revealed incompetency of bureaucracy where condition of health sector is too miserable, engulfed in intense corruption. Bangladesh's healthcare system has already proved weak to deliver proper service to the public, especially in pandemic situation due to lack of reliability, responsiveness, and empathy.

With an increase of 8.3 per cent from last fiscal is allocations, about Tk 71,350 crore have been earmarked for payment to civil servants in fiscal 2021-22, which is 11.8 percent of the proposed budget. The government raised pay and allowances of public servants by 25 per cent as part of "price adjustment" in March 2019.

Earlier, public sector employees of Bangladesh got an increase in basic pay and other allowances from July 2015 which were effective from July 2016. Unfortunately, the quality of civil service has not improved with the increase of their salaries.

When most of the people have been facing a hardship due to decrease in their income and are failing to do their jobs or run business due to covid restrictions, government service holders get regular salaries and allowances without any break. It is no matter - what was their service to the people - enough or insufficient.   

Our civil servants must show they are part of the people and not servants of colonial masters. Our bureaucrats are good and well meaning but are too obliging for a free country. They have an attitude problem and that is proving to be a big hurdle for the country to remain democratic.

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