A MONTHLY SUPPLEMENT OF RAKAN SARAWAK BULLETIN

(People, events, activities and programmes which make for a total quality-managed Sarawak Civil Service)

ISSN 1394-5726

 
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The Role of Government in the NEW AGE


As each nation approaches the new millennium, they continue to face many uncertainties - what is in the future of globalisation, economics progress, world peace, world order?...to name a few.

These are the corcerns and challenges that every nation's governments have to handle, for the good of the people and the country. Thus, good governance play a vital role in civilised society.

The presence of a goverment fulfills two roles - as a source of authority and as a representative of the populace. And the two functions need to maintain a dynamic balance or they would easily end up at odds with one another.

A chronic misunderstanding by leaders on what constitute a strong government by the reliance of force and disregard of popular public participation can actually weaken government as can be seen with the fallen regimes of President Sukarno and Suharto.

Fundamentally, the strength of a government is derived from the trust and popular support of the people and all those who reside within the national boundries.

Based on that trust and support, the government is legitimate and strong. It can act as society's protector - to filter and embrace changes which will benefit all, resists those that work only to the advantage of the few world's richest and the most powerful.

In this sense, the government becomes the guardian and advocate of the people, and the concept of trust between the two is reciprocal.

According to Professor Michael Leigh, Director- Institute of East Asian Studies, UNIMAS, during a recent seminar on Sarawak's Economy in the New Millennium, the role of government in the new age is determined by it source of legitimacy and the centrality of trust.

Therefore, the challenge for government in the new age is to rebuild social trust in a self-centred era.

In the aspect of Sarawak's Government in the new age, the state government can be futher strengthened through several factors such as:

 
  • Trust - building trust and support between the people and the government.
  • Inclusion - a sense of belonging as everybody needs to have a stake in society.
  • Community - small, medium or large group identity to act between people and government,
  • Security - certainly for the people, e.g., for employment, health care, education and so on.
  • Facing the cocerns and meeting all challenges of the new millennium is not easy task, but with the people and goverment working together towards a common goal, the road to the future is much brighter and smoother.

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