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Why aren’t govt agencies functioning?

17 Jan 2021 / 20:19 H.

THE talk of the town is MCO 2.0 which I believe came at a time when our health system was near collapse with the pandemic staging the biggest war on humans.

We have seen we are no match for a battle of this magnitude, especially when the enemy is within and without.

Unfortunately, save for a select few business operations, everything else is functioning normally, at least in the private sector.

I haven’t seen that many cars off the roads. I hope the “stay home” plea is taken seriously, otherwise it will be a sacrifice in futility.

Incidentally, the prime minister in his address when announcing the MCO gave the undertaking that all government agencies will function and continue to serve the rakyat during the MCO.

Sadly, this is not so, there are ministries and agencies which have gone absent and silent as if they were waiting for the “good” news to ditch their responsibilities.

This is not hearsay. My experience with Wisma Putra was when I tried calling them the whole morning on day three of the MCO and no one picked up the calls.

The Immigration Department in Jalan Duta is another sad story altogether. They have stopped all walk-ins and only allow those with prior appointments made through a web application.

When I tried in October last year to get an appointment through the application, there were none available. All dates showed they were taken. Absurd, I thought.

Obviously, the application is designed that way to prevent people from coming into the Immigration Department.

People’s needs are aplenty, there are things that can wait and there are others that simply cannot. Repeated calls were made to the private sectors to adopt innovative ways to retain productivity while working from home (WFH), why is the government not adopting the same?

I also have feedback from family and friends who have tried in vain to get a response from the various Land Offices, courts and the list goes on.

Who is watching this unscrupulousness in the civil service? Is the civil service abusing the WFH liberty to the extent it is affecting their basic services to the public?

Just hours before the start of the MCO on Jan 12, all major highways leading out of the city centre were chocked and the tailback caught many of us who were returning from work by surprise.

Is this an indication as to why the civil service seems to have lapsed into a coma?

If people have left the city to retreat to their hometowns, there could be a multitude of variables preventing them from functioning at full capacity.

As a responsible citizen, I have tweeted my observation and disgruntlement to the prime minister and the respective ministers. Let us see if they find it worthy to act on the complaint, or at least respond.

Then of course, we have the pothole hotline propagated by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), with a promise to rectify potholes immediately.

I have since sent two text messages with pictures of potholes sitting in the middle of busy roads and which could be dangerous to road users, particularly motorcyclists.

There was of course an acknowledgement, but nothing has happened for more than a week now.

Strange things happen at unprecedented times. An emergency for a health-related crisis is uncommon and unheard of.

Constitutional law experts say, and many scholars have voiced their opinion openly, that the proclamation of an emergency was unnecessary as the MCO, a tried and tested method to reducing the infection rate, was a good enough measure.

We all know the larger scheme of things looming on the horizon which is why this measure was critical.

Among these, my esteem goes to the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin (KJ), whose statement on clarification to commonly trending questions on Covid-19 vaccines is one of a kind.

I have not seen any other statement in recent times in Malaysia having come close to this where explanations were offered in simple terms and which came in timely, quashing all rumours in a single stroke.

As we know knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.

One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.

It is either you have it or you don’t and KJ is one who is well endowed with this attribute.

In contrast, many of our country leaders have shown what lack of wisdom can look like.

Stay home, stay safe.

Comments: letters@thesundaily.com

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