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YOU WALK THE TALK FIRST BY MARINA
MAHATHIR
********************************
The Government wants us to change our lifestyles to cope
with inflation. It is easier said than done since most people
were having it difficult even before the hikes. The Government
must first set an example by doing things it should have done
long ago.
WITH the recent hike in fuel prices and the Government’s
exhortations for us to change our lifestyles in order to cope,
may I provide here some suggestions for the Government and
those who work for it to “share our burden”.

1. STOP HAVING MEETINGS, ESPECIALLY OUT AT
RESORTS, FAR ENOUGH AWAY to be able to claim
transport allowances. Have online meetings instead or
teleconferences. Use Skype or chat.
2. NO NEED TO ORDER SPECIAL PENS, BAGS, T-SHIRTS,
NOTEPADS AND OTHER GOODIES FOR THOSE SAME
MEETINGS.
3. NO NEED TO ORDER KUIH FOR MID-MORNING OR
TEATIME MEETINGS IN GOVERNMENT OFFICES, or nasi
briyani lunches for those meetings that happen to end
just at lunchtime.
4. CANCEL ALL TRIPS FOR GOVERNMENT
      SERVANTS TO CONFERENCES OVERSEAS unless
      they return with full reports of what they did
      there, who they met and what they learnt and
      how they mean to apply what they learnt at
      home. Ask them to do presentations to
      colleagues who did not get to go, on the most
      interesting and important papers that they read.
      5. SCRUTINISE INVOICES FOR CONTRACTS to
      make sure they are truly reflective of what those
      projects or supplies cost.
      6. STOP ELABORATE LAUNCHES FOR
      GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMES. In particular, stop
      the buying of souvenirs, special batik shirts,
      corsages, bouquets and caps.
      7. MAKE ALL CIVIL SERVANTS AND POLITICIANS
      TRAVEL ECONOMY CLASS. That means really
      travelling at the back of the plane and not buying
      full fare economy class tickets that allow them to
      be upgraded to Business Class.
YOU WALK THE TALK FIRST BY MARINA MAHATHIR
8. STOP HAVING THE FULL COMPLEMENT OF
POLICE ESCORTS TO CUT DOWN ON PETROL
COSTS. If they need to be somewhere by a
certain time, start earlier like the rest of us.
Wouldn’t be a bad thing for them to also
experience a traffic jam.
9. Once a week (or more), HAVE MINISTERS USE
PUBLIC TRANSPORT so they know what
everyone else has to suffer. This might provide
them with the incentive to improve them.
10. Once a week, LET MINISTERS GO TO A
MARKET TO BUY FOOD for their families with
instructions to not spend more than RM100.
11. GET MINISTERS TO CARPOOL. They might
get more work done just by being able to talk to
each other to see what can be coordinated
between their ministries. For instance, the
Ministers of Health and Women could discuss
what to do about women’s health issues in the
car on the way to work. Maybe have a secretary
to travel in the front seat to take down notes on
what was discussed. By the time they get to
their offices, things can get implemented.
12. Once a month, GET CIVIL SERVANTS TO
WORK WITH ONE DISADVANTAGED
GROUP in order to be better able to
appreciate their problems. It could be blind
people one month, hearing disabled people
the next, orang asli the following month
and people living with HIV/AIDS after that.
We could start buddy systems which pair
one civil servant with one disadvantaged
person and at the end of it, ask each pair to
make recommendations on how to make
life better for each other. This might get rid
of the problem of desk jockeys, people who
never stray very far from their desks yet
make policies for people they know nothing
about.
13. HAVE PA SYSTEMS THAT SHOUT OUT THE
NAME OF THE OFFICERS WHO HAVE TO SERVE
PEOPLE AT GOVERNMENT OFFICES SO THAT
PEOPLE GET THE SERVICES THEY CAME FOR and
don’t have to keep coming back just because the
officer was out having coffee. No counter should
be left unmanned for more than five minutes
before the officer is paged to go back to their
stations. This should cut down waiting time for the
public and save them transport costs in having to
keep returning just to get one thing done.
14. GOVERNMENT OFFICERS WHO LOSE PEOPLE’S
FILES SHOULD BE FINED AND HAVE THEIR NAMES
PUBLICISED for being careless and causing in-
convenience to the public. Instead of making the
public travel to heir offices several times to deal
with their problems, they should travel to go see
their client and deal with it right there and then.
And every officer who goes out of the office should
be given a reasonable time to get his work done
after which he is expected back in office so he
doesn’t waste time doing something else.
15. AND NEWSPAPERS SHOULD SAVE PAPER
BY REPORTING REAL NEWS RATHER THAN
NON-NEWS THAT THEY CARRY, particularly
nonsensical utterances by politicians. As they
say, we need to do this all together in order to
make a difference. So if the Government and
politicians make these lifestyle changes, I will
do my part and change mine.


Thank You.
Marina Mahathir

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WALK THE TALK FIRST BY SETTING AN EXAMPLE

  • 1. YOU WALK THE TALK FIRST BY MARINA MAHATHIR ******************************** The Government wants us to change our lifestyles to cope with inflation. It is easier said than done since most people were having it difficult even before the hikes. The Government must first set an example by doing things it should have done long ago. WITH the recent hike in fuel prices and the Government’s exhortations for us to change our lifestyles in order to cope, may I provide here some suggestions for the Government and those who work for it to “share our burden”. 1. STOP HAVING MEETINGS, ESPECIALLY OUT AT RESORTS, FAR ENOUGH AWAY to be able to claim transport allowances. Have online meetings instead or teleconferences. Use Skype or chat. 2. NO NEED TO ORDER SPECIAL PENS, BAGS, T-SHIRTS, NOTEPADS AND OTHER GOODIES FOR THOSE SAME MEETINGS. 3. NO NEED TO ORDER KUIH FOR MID-MORNING OR TEATIME MEETINGS IN GOVERNMENT OFFICES, or nasi briyani lunches for those meetings that happen to end just at lunchtime.
  • 2. 4. CANCEL ALL TRIPS FOR GOVERNMENT SERVANTS TO CONFERENCES OVERSEAS unless they return with full reports of what they did there, who they met and what they learnt and how they mean to apply what they learnt at home. Ask them to do presentations to colleagues who did not get to go, on the most interesting and important papers that they read. 5. SCRUTINISE INVOICES FOR CONTRACTS to make sure they are truly reflective of what those projects or supplies cost. 6. STOP ELABORATE LAUNCHES FOR GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMES. In particular, stop the buying of souvenirs, special batik shirts, corsages, bouquets and caps. 7. MAKE ALL CIVIL SERVANTS AND POLITICIANS TRAVEL ECONOMY CLASS. That means really travelling at the back of the plane and not buying full fare economy class tickets that allow them to be upgraded to Business Class. YOU WALK THE TALK FIRST BY MARINA MAHATHIR
  • 3. 8. STOP HAVING THE FULL COMPLEMENT OF POLICE ESCORTS TO CUT DOWN ON PETROL COSTS. If they need to be somewhere by a certain time, start earlier like the rest of us. Wouldn’t be a bad thing for them to also experience a traffic jam. 9. Once a week (or more), HAVE MINISTERS USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT so they know what everyone else has to suffer. This might provide them with the incentive to improve them. 10. Once a week, LET MINISTERS GO TO A MARKET TO BUY FOOD for their families with instructions to not spend more than RM100. 11. GET MINISTERS TO CARPOOL. They might get more work done just by being able to talk to each other to see what can be coordinated between their ministries. For instance, the Ministers of Health and Women could discuss what to do about women’s health issues in the car on the way to work. Maybe have a secretary to travel in the front seat to take down notes on what was discussed. By the time they get to their offices, things can get implemented.
  • 4. 12. Once a month, GET CIVIL SERVANTS TO WORK WITH ONE DISADVANTAGED GROUP in order to be better able to appreciate their problems. It could be blind people one month, hearing disabled people the next, orang asli the following month and people living with HIV/AIDS after that. We could start buddy systems which pair one civil servant with one disadvantaged person and at the end of it, ask each pair to make recommendations on how to make life better for each other. This might get rid of the problem of desk jockeys, people who never stray very far from their desks yet make policies for people they know nothing about.
  • 5. 13. HAVE PA SYSTEMS THAT SHOUT OUT THE NAME OF THE OFFICERS WHO HAVE TO SERVE PEOPLE AT GOVERNMENT OFFICES SO THAT PEOPLE GET THE SERVICES THEY CAME FOR and don’t have to keep coming back just because the officer was out having coffee. No counter should be left unmanned for more than five minutes before the officer is paged to go back to their stations. This should cut down waiting time for the public and save them transport costs in having to keep returning just to get one thing done. 14. GOVERNMENT OFFICERS WHO LOSE PEOPLE’S FILES SHOULD BE FINED AND HAVE THEIR NAMES PUBLICISED for being careless and causing in- convenience to the public. Instead of making the public travel to heir offices several times to deal with their problems, they should travel to go see their client and deal with it right there and then. And every officer who goes out of the office should be given a reasonable time to get his work done after which he is expected back in office so he doesn’t waste time doing something else.
  • 6. 15. AND NEWSPAPERS SHOULD SAVE PAPER BY REPORTING REAL NEWS RATHER THAN NON-NEWS THAT THEY CARRY, particularly nonsensical utterances by politicians. As they say, we need to do this all together in order to make a difference. So if the Government and politicians make these lifestyle changes, I will do my part and change mine. Thank You. Marina Mahathir