Union min­is­ter urges civil ser­vants to drop old habits

The Myanmar Times - - News - – Trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun HTOO THANT thanhtoo@mm­times.com

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.

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