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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The phrase “Saya Yang Menurut Perinah” needs to be corrected


(Terima Kasih kepada Utusan, buka minda saya untuk mempelajari BI dalam bentuk penulisan akhbar)

I am among thousands of those from the private sector who switch job to work as civil servant to serve in the government.

There is no denial that I need to change my approach and adapt with the different work environment from public to the private sector. That is normal to anyone who moves to work from one place to another.
What caught my attention is the use of the phrase “Saya Yang Menurut Perintah” (I’ m Under Your Command) in the public sector. The phrase is widely use in official letters or in whatever work that they do.

However, in my opinion the phrase at times had been misunderstood by certain quarters. They feel that it is their obligation to take any directive without question.

I see this as unhealthy where if left uncheck, can create work environment which is not competitive.
But I would like to see from the dimension of why this could have happen.
First, I feel that the environment of discussion between the giver and the receiver of the directive should be more transparent and effective.

Like it or not, the receivers of the directive feel that they should not or incompetent enough to discuss further on the directive given to them. It is here where the role of the giver of the directive is required.
Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had also stated that “the era where the government knows everything, has gone”. Head of every sector in the Civil Service must practice a two-way communication with their staff.

Other than just giving the directive, ask them their opinion on the directive given to them. Create room for discussion where “although I am the boss, I am not always right.” It is this kind of environment that can create workers who are pro-active and dynamic.

Secondly, being brave enough in expressing their opinion is often misunderstood as being arrogant and going against the directive. The receivers of the directive who voice their opinion are being labeled as employer-hater. There are workers being isolated for such act. This must also change.

Voicing an opinion is very necessary in creating worker with active mind. Those who follow directive without any question are the ones who refuse to exercise their brain lest being labeled as arrogant by other workers.
It is here that the role of head of departments is very important. They should not label those who like to give opinion as trouble makers.

In short, the phrase should be corrected with the major role being played by the giver of the directive. Bosses should not manipulate the phrase as a ticket to show off their authority.
Although this issue may sound trivial, correcting the misinterpretation of the phrase may help to realize the success of “1Malaysia” concept.

Experience can turn us a matured person but do not think that what we went through make us an infallible person. There are times when we need ideas from those who are our juniors.
Have no fear in making mistakes but have fear in making mistake over and over again.

Ezzuddin Razad
Putrajaya

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