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Underperforming M'sian civil servants to undergo 'buddy system'

Publication Date : 15-04-2012


Underperforming civil servants in Malaysia will be assigned specially trained "buddies" from next month to guide and motivate them.

The “buddy system” to make the civil service “more dynamic and functional” is aimed at employees with attitude and other problems that cause them to be unproductive.

The Public Service Department uploaded on its website the guidelines for the system, which is an initiative of its psychology management unit.

Unit head Dr Aris Kasan said the “buddies” would be selected by a special committee comprising human resource personnel and psychologists.

He told The Star that the buddies would be chosen from more than 4,500 civil servants who had been trained in counselling for the existing Public Service Colleague Guidance Group, which organises formal activities such as team building sessions.

"The buddy system will involve activities on a more personal level such as having meals or watching or playing games together,” he said.

The programme, which supports the Public Service Colleague Guidance Group, would identify workers with attitude, work, financial and family problems.

"The buddies will motivate colleagues assigned to them or help by sharing their knowledge and experience with them.

"However, if they detect major issues such as mental problems or any form of addiction, they will have to refer the colleagues to the department's counsellor or the psychology unit.”

The number of buddies selected depends on the need of each department.

Aris said he would meet the counsellors from all the depart-ments once every three months to garner feedback.

"We will then conduct an impact study on the programme to gauge its effectiveness,” he said.

Aris added that the department would also look into training doctors under the system in light of the recent death of a houseman in Kajang Hospital.

The Star had reported that some housemen were overworked and bullied, sending some into depression.


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