Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Challenges of Democratisation and Good Governance in the Malaysian Public Sector

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 (Bernama) -- For a country to practise a system of good governance, there must be transparency and openness, and a free flow and easy access to information must be encouraged, the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, said today.

He said people are were well-informed are in a better position to make informed decisions and those who are badly informed will rely on half-truths and lies. They will have to depend on non-credible sources of information or they may have to remain ignorant.

"This can cause attention to be directed to frivolous matters, while positive and commendable efforts on the part of the government go unseen, nullifying those efforts," he said in his keynote address at the international conference on "The Challenges of Democratisation and Good Governance in the Malaysian Public Sector" here.

Outlining several points in realising a system of good governance, Raja Nazrin said there was a need to continuously move towards an increasingly open system of governance.

"Eradicating red tape and convoluted bureaucratic procedures will help stave off high economic costs and inhibit any opportunity for illicit payment. The amount of regulation, permits and licences must be reduced," he said.

Raja Nazrin said tendering processes needed to be made more competitive and transparent and "whistle blowers" should be protected against retaliation from those complained about.

"These measures will help towards reducing the opportunities for corruption," he said, commenting the government's move in setting up the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah) early this year, a collaborative project between the public and private sectors which aims to simplify operations and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the public delivery system.

He said that besides according fully with the rule of law and the spirit of law, a system of good governance was "palpably at odds with unprincipled, immoral and unethical behaviour and it cannot exist where there is lack of integrity.

"Attitudes and behaviour based on the principles of integrity were arguably the most important element in good governance, and the absence of it could undermine the legitimacy of public institutions and disrupt policy goals, he said.

"Governance systems cannot rise to become good until and unless the people who are involved rise as well," he said.-- BERNAMA

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