Malaysia's whistle-blowing channel for the public

Malaysia's whistle-blowing channel for the public
Low and Mahani launching the online complaint kiosk in Putrajaya.

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia - The Public Complaints Bureau (BPA) is akin to a whistle-blowing channel for the public to highlight shortcomings in the civil service, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Paul Low.

He said the Government wants to hear feedback from the people as part of its efforts to be closer to the rakyat. In the same vein, Low urged civil servants to begin treating the public in the way a corporation services its customers.

"I think the whole attitude of 'People First' will have to be translated into the way we connect with the people, and also in the level of responsiveness to any complaints that they have," said Low at a press conference after launching the BPA kiosk here yesterday.

The kiosk, which is a touchscreen-equipped booth, allows people to key in feedback to 35 ministries and agencies, as well as to check on the status of their complaints.

"Hopefully, the whole culture of the civil service will change to one that views the public as customers, and likewise (we hope) the culture of the public will change, too, (in which) they are prepared to use technology to make constructive suggestions to the Govern­ment," said Low.

Under the pilot stage, three of these digital kiosks will be installed at the Urban Trans­formation Centres in Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Pahang.

According to BPA director-general Datin Mahani Tan Abdullah, should public response to these kiosks prove to be encouraging, more of such kiosks will be rolled out at high traffic areas such as malls.

Mahani also urged government agencies to drop the defensive attitude and view public complaints in a different light.

"Complaints are usually perceived as something negative, but we need to realise that they are an important element in enhancing performance and delivery. They are a gift for improvement," she said.

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