Put citizens first

Abang Johari (fourth left) presents the Sarawak Civil Service Innovation Convention Special Award to a representative from the Land and Survey Department as others look on. Photo: JaPen

KUCHING: The Sarawak civil service must be attentive to the needs of the people, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has stressed.

We, as the government must be agile and responsive to the needs of the citizens. Only then we can redefine how we serve citizens, and in so doing, would build and improve trust and confidence of citizens,” he said.

Abang Johari said, for centuries, the main administrative dysfunctions that civil servants and citizens faced had been the fragmentation of large bureaucratic organisations.

Consequently, the citizens face various obstacles to access public services that rely on flawed interaction among several different agencies, reinforcing the traditional view of a government that is distant from the expectation of their constituencies.

“Therefore, governments must drive change through governance, culture, and quality management to modernise service delivery, moving it from a state of complexity and fragmentation to an easier and integrated one-stop access.

“For the citizens, this will result in more effective and efficient service delivery,” he said when officiating at the Sarawak Civil Service Innovation Convention Awards (SCSICA) 2020 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching today.

He said citizens in the modern world, especially following the Covid-19 pandemic, demanded change and a high rate of responsiveness from the government.

“Citizens know more. They are better educated with ready access to technologies that not only force governments to be more transparent but also to rethink notions of transparency.

“Their expectations are growing for improved service interaction in every aspect of their lives.”

Abang Johari added that by being a people-centric government and making positive changes, this would enable Sarawak to be a developed and high income state by 2030.