Civil servants must prepare for public scrutiny

Berapit assemblywoman Heng Lee Lee said civil servants overseeing public matters must be vigilant and ready for public scrutiny at all times.

“Every action in their official capacity is subject to potential public exposure. Rather than fearing exposure, they should adhere to legal and fair duties,” she said.

She was reacting to CUEPACS President Datuk Dr. Adnan Mat’s remarks against criticizing civil servants on social media. While acknowledging his points, Heng argued that civil servants should better understand the current social reality and accept scrutiny.

“Banning the public from sharing and exposing civil servants’ abuses or negligence on social media is a temporary solution,” Heng added, emphasising how internet transparency blurs public-private boundaries.

She praised the contributions of civil servants but noted that the negligence of a few can significantly impact public perception.

She said the real remedy lies in improving civil servants’ attitudes and ensuring citizens have confidence in proper complaint channels.

Heng revealed that Malaysia has a Public Complaints Bureau for reporting civil servant issues.

She stressed promoting this system to curb misconduct and dispel the notion of unchecked power in civil service jobs, as its effectiveness is hindered by lack of promotion and trust.

She also said that Malaysia’s cabinet system combines administrative and legislative powers, allowing some civil servants to hide behind officials and create problems.

Heng suggested posting the bureau’s contact information publicly to raise awareness and encourage diligence among civil servants.

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