No 'Little Napoleon' In Civil Service Please, Says Abdullah


April 14, 2006 11:54 AM

No ‘Little Napoleon’ In Civil Service Please, Says Abdullah

PUTRAJAYA, April 14 (Bernama) – No ‘Little Napoleon’ in civil service please.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Friday warned a small group of civil servants who were trying to show power by delaying implementation of the country’s development projects.

“There is no need to show how powerful you are by delaying things. There are people who held back files, and there are people who held back decisions,” he said during the Ministry of Finance monthly assembly, here.

“We don’t want to have ‘Little Napoleon’ in the civil service showing power by delaying things, for example, just to teach that person a lesson,” said Abdullah who is also the Finance Minister.

Although the group involved was small, he said, the government did not want the few to cause problem to so many people.

(Little Napoleon is often described as one who is pugnacious, arrogant and abrasive, especially a person in power, having features like Napoleon Bonaparte, an absolute ruler in France during the late 18th century.)

He said the government does not want “disebabkan nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga,” (because of a drop of blue dye, a whole pot of milk is contaminated) (Malay proverb, which means just because of a person’s fault, the whole community/group related to the person gets a bad reputation.)

The Prime Minister also reiterated his call on civil servants to assist and not to cause the failure in the implementation of all development projects, either financed by the government or the private sector.

He said all problems, complaints and views from the public on the implementation of a particular project should be given weightage.

"Don’t regard a person who gives you advice as outspoken and that we have to teach the person a lesson by showing our power.

“We can’t have people who cannot accept advice. I myself need to be advised,” said Abdullah.

Abdullah said he had received advice and views from the public on the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP).

However, he said, some of these views were baseless, alleging that the national economy was not growing.

He said all public sector employees should carry out their responsibilities and duties efficiently and speedily in implementing the 9MP development programmes.

“Just as in the 4X400 metre race, each athlete must run in his or her own row at the fastest speed,” he said.

Abdullah said this was important as the people had high hopes towards the implementation of the 9MP development projects.

On regional development under the 9MP, the Prime Minister said he did not want border problems between two to three states to surface, which could stifle such efforts.

He said the federal government did not take into account whether the state was government or opposition-ruled, but gave more priority to developing the areas in the region when implementing the programme.

Under the 9MP, the Northern Region, Eastern Region, Sabah and Sarawak had been identified for development to ensure a more balanced growth.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said civil servants should realise that it was not the people who had the power but their position.

Power was given for a particular post to allow the holder to carry out the responsibility which was entrusted upon him, Samsudin said after officiating Putrajaya Corporation’s Clients’ Day here.

“What’s important is the position and not the person (holder),” he said when asked to comment on Abdullah’s remarks earlier.

Samsudin said the show-of-power problem was because of the attitude of some civil servants and not due to the process of handing over of power.

“Advice will be given to those who sometimes forget this,” he said.