PETALING JAYA: The new government needs to work together with civil servants for the sake of the people, said former Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam.

“The priority for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is to save the country from instability and economic crises such as high prices and inflation. He must ensure that we are on the right track and convince Malaysians that he will do whatever must be done to take us forward.

“As soon as the politicians are sworn in as Cabinet members, they should work hand-in-hand with civil servants to ensure the people are taken care of. Malaysians will have a feel-good factor in the country. Not only do foreign investors want stability, the people of this country also need it,” he said, adding that ministers should provide a roadmap and indicate what the government will do to provide better services for Malaysians.

“The new government should hit the ground running from day one. But I don’t expect it to do everything in one go. Provide us with a roadmap. Shed us some light on the short and long-term goals and plans. This would reduce the anxiety of Malaysians on what the future of our country is going to be like and raise the people’s confidence.”

Ismail said to address economic crises, the new government should first improve the public service.

“Ministers should learn quickly and improve whatever is lacking in the civil service. From my experience, the Cabinet is always a mixture of old and new faces. The old ones can share their experience with those who are new. The officers can brief the ministers on what they believe needs improvement. This should take the ministers between two weeks and one month to achieve. When this problem is solved, other major issues can be looked into.”

Ismail expressed hope that Anwar would choose his Cabinet based on credibility and qualification rather than political affiliation. He cannot run a government alone and should include those who have knowledge and expertise in taking initiatives for the betterment of Malaysia.

“The world has changed immensely. New technologies and environmental concerns are a part of it. Business is not as usual anymore, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“You need experts to give their thoughts on the subject matter. Please consult relevant people for the sake of the people,” he added.