February 11, 2009
It has been almost one full month since I’ve taken a slight career shift. Some would know already that I decided to leave from my previous employment at the Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) and move onto something different at the Selangor State Government. I started at the Selangor Menteri Besar’s Office (for lack of an English translation, it is “Chief Minister”) in mid-January 2009 and am employed as a Research Officer there. So far, so good. A very steep learning curve and I am looking forward to working hard.
It is indeed a change in environment of sorts. Many people would have known me in relation to the work done previously at the CPPS, research and forums and policy factsheets from an independent, non-partisan point of view. Back at the CPPS, the issues I was (and still am) most passionate about included national unity, race and religious relations, good governance, budget transparency, socioeconomic policy, human rights and young Malaysians.
Working on state-level issues is a different ball game altogether. Although all the macro and national-level issues are still extremely close to my heart, I am now confronted with the reality of governing a state – and not a small state at that – at the ground level. Such a broad spectrum of issues one has to grapple with on a daily basis, taking into consideration many parties’ opinions (not political party mind you!) and weighing options carefully.
I am enjoying it thoroughly, even the long days at times. In a way, the unique combination of having come from an independent, semi-civil society-think tank-organisation observing from the outside, with the current opportunity to see the operations and clockwork from the inside – allow me to expand my own perspectives on the way I see Malaysia and society around me.
The guiding principles that I – and many others – stood for have not changed. In fact, at times I would prefer to stand resolute to ensure these principles that brought me to where I am today will continue to drive me, serve me, lead me, as I carefully make decisions in whichever capacity I can. These are – good governance, accountability (to self and to public both), integrity, excellence, and putting others before self. If any one individual deviates from any of these principles, governance of a state (and country) falls flat.
This is a lesson to take home in light of numerous political upheavals taking place of late (yes, again).
The CPPS is thankfully progressing well, with my former colleagues still working at promoting governance from a think-tank’s perspective. There are numerous events taking place, which can be viewed on the website.
For now, suffice to make a public announcement that has been long overdue – that I am now working for a Pakatan Rakyat State Government. Needed to wait for the dust to settle before my transition was made known to all.
Here’s to a fulfilling and exciting year ahead! A Belated Happy New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai everybody!
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