City Hall’s grooming course under scrutiny

Source: http://www.nst.com.my/Monday/National/20060626083540/Article/index_html

City Halls grooming course under scrutiny
26 Jun 2006
Minderjeet Kaur

KUALA LUMPUR: The RM94,000 grooming-and-etiquette course for City Halls top officials has come under scrutiny, with Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Samsudin Osman promising to get to the bottom of it.

Samsudin is expected to ask Datuk Bandar Datuk Ruslin Hasan to explain the unprecedented outing which included fine dining at a five-star restaurant and a karaoke session for 31 advisers, senior staff and their spouses.

The officials were also given tuxedos costing RM2,500 each.

“I will check with him on the reasons and objectives of the outing,” said Samsudin when asked to comment on the outing which was reported in the New Straits Times yesterday.

In yesterdays report, Ruslin had denied allegations from a senior City Hall official that the one-day “Corporate Grooming and Social Etiquette” course on June 19 was the mayors attempt to lobby for an extension to his term of service which ends on Dec 13.

Ruslin had said that the outing was to educate senior officials on how to handle themselves and portray a better image of City Hall when attending formal official functions.

On the tuxedos, he had said that they were to be worn during official functions as most of the officers did not own one and would wear all sorts of clothes for such functions.

He had also said that the City Hall senior staff were entitled to a tuxedo and to attend a course on social etiquette.

Public Accounts Committee chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad, meanwhile, expressed shock over City Halls lavish spending and said that it was a waste of public funds.

He urged the Government to curb such spending.

"It is unfair to waste public funds in such manner.

“There are other ways for City Hall to educate top officials on social manners and grace,” he said.

Although he agreed that senior officials should be exposed to corporate grooming and social etiquette, Shahrir said Ruslin should not have spent public funds extravagantly.

"The whole function is questionable. There are other ways to teach senior staff on fine dining. Ruslin could have called in an instructor to teach the dos and donts of fine dining.

“Why was there a need for a lunch and dinner treat at a fine-dining restaurant?”

Shahrir also questioned Ruslins intention of giving away tuxedos to City Halls senior staff.