Singapore is now wooing our students to their universities. Looks like the brain drain will worsen. Local universities should buck up and be more competitive. Stop resting on your laurels. Do not be like Proton and expect to be protected. Local universities have to fight for their share of brilliant students and staff alike. The process of meritocracy is the foundation of a good university and should be practised. Meritocracy in Malaysia is like its democracy. It is only practised partially with the racial divide still pretty obvious.

The condition of the civil service is not any better than its education counterparts. It is sluggish, inefficient, lazy, corrupted and grossly incompetent. How are we to improve such services? Low pay remains the main obstacle. Even the process of promotion is shrouded in secrecy with no transparency. Good workers are not adequately rewarded but instead incompetent chronic workers are given their “long-awaited” promotions despite a poor working record. Due to its low pay, good workers shy away and all the civil service ends up with are the second hand goods. Many civil servants feel that it is a safe haven where disciplinary actions are rare and obstructed by a bureaucratic process. Dismissals are almost non-existent.

The civil service is indeed in bad shape. The recent anti-corruption drive is much welcomed. It is only hoped that it will be an on-going process and not a political ploy sacrifising unimportant pawns. The success of a nation lies in the government and its civil service. Thus its problem should be rectified first.

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