Wednesday, June 11, 2008
OK to moonlight?
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Tan Sri Amirsham Abdul Aziz has said civil servants can take up part-time weekend jobs or businesses to supplement their income in view of the rising cost of living. He said the government was encouraging all Malaysians to work harder during weekends. We are sure Amirsham is simply trying to help civil servants ease their financial burden. Already many government servants including police constables are working as taxi drivers, pasar malam traders or bodyguards. They are just earning an honest living to supplement their income. No one can fault what they are doing. But Amirsham need to come up with some guidelines. He should not open the floodgates where there would be a conflict of interest. Council workers at certain departments, for example, shouldn't be working for property developers. Land office officials should not be engaged by lawyers and those related to their work. The 10% cut in the ministers' entertainment allowances is merely symbolic. What we need to do is to focus on improving efficiency and productivity. Saving money but not earning money for the country does not help to save the economy. We have talked so much about the tender system but nothing has been carried out. Not even in the Pakatan-run states. The tender system will allow Malaysians to stop wastage and curb corruption. Taxpayers should not be burderned with over-priced projects. Or projects that have little economic value in return. Does Malacca really need a RM40million ferris wheel? The Eye will be moved from Taman Tasik Titiwangsa to Malacca's Kota Laksamana. The state has projected 700,000 tourists a year but not many are convinced that it is viable. Let's hope it won't become a Black Eye Over Malacca. Let's be serious if we want to have prudent management.