Union minister urges civil servants to drop old habits
U AUNG Thu, Union minister for agriculture, livestock and irrigation, has urged civil servants to leave behind old habits, take initiative and make the most of their potential.
“You need to prove [yourself] by your work, not your words,” the minister said at a ceremony yesterday belatedly marking International Day of Cooperatives, which was celebrated globally on July 2 this year.
“The idea that there is no problem if nothing has been done belongs to an old era. It is time to bravely do that which you should do. So I’d like to urge you to make good use of your ability and competence in your work.”
He also instructed staff of the Cooperatives Department, where the ceremony was held, to carry out their work transparently.
“You need to work transparently not only with your staff but also among the public. You can show the public what plans you have, what you are doing and what benefits can accrue from which activities. If [you do] so, you can gain people’s trust bit by bit,” he said.
Myanmar’s former Ministry of Cooperatives was subsumed into the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation in a bureaucratic reshuffle by the new government earlier this year.
U Myo Aung, director of the Cooperatives Department, said his team was heeding the minister’s call for transparency.
“I have told people transparently what we are doing as a Cooperatives Department. We need to try informing people that our department is not operating at a loss, as they think,” he said.
While commending U Aung Thu’s words, Ko Moe Zaw, an officer from the department, encouraged the Union minister and other senior ministry officials with decision-making responsibilities to take a grassroots approach to management.
Currently, the department’s deputy director general is the lowestranking staffer with whom Union-level officials liaise, Ko Moe Zaw said.
Without meeting department personnel of lower rank, he added, senior government officials are not able to get a proper sense of the department’s initiatives and challenges on the ground.
“Because directors and lowerranking staff are working in the real world, the true information can be gleaned from them,” he said.
U Aung Thu noted that under previous governments, the Ministry of Cooperatives had developed a poor reputation, with complaints that programs offered by the ministry were conduits for graft, politicised and inefficient.
“We need to try hard with great momentum on the current activities of the Cooperatives Department so as to gain people’s trust, overcoming the bad views people had of the department before,” he said.