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PUTRAJAYA: Delays in the services offered by government departments and agencies can result in corruption, former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
"Delays result in corruption. If something can be done in one day, let it be done in one day.
"If it cannot be completed on the same day, call up the officer and ask him why it cannot be done in a day," Dr Mahathir said at a luncheon talk held in conjunction with the National Digital Conference 2012.
Dr Mahathir was responding to the question on what would he want to see as a private citizen on services being delivered to him.
The two-day conference themed “Accelerating the Government Digital Transformation Momentum” which ended today, was running in its fourth year.
The conference was a platform for participants to discuss and share ideas and strategies in enhancing the productivity and efficiency through digital technologies and applications.
It was also to promote innovation and creativity in the public service delivery by adapting national transformation initiatives and forging synergistic alliance between information and communications technology (ICT) industries in the digital sphere.
Also present at the luncheon talk was Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
Dr Mahathir added that if a service cannot be delivered in one day, explanations should be given.
"For example, if the service cannot be delivered in a day, call up the officer and ask him why he cannot do it in one day. There will be explanations which may be acceptable or may be rejected.
"But it is also important to remember that time should be given for every single job that is to be done by the departments," he said.
Dr Mahathir said that the time taken determines whether the service provided will be done well or otherwise.
"I am afraid delays invariably results in corruption," he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir also said that civil servants must first be convinced to change in line with the rapid technological advancement.
"For example, when we first had our first handphone, there was limited usage to the device but today it has multipurpose usage, such as it can be used as a camera or recording device, which was not possible before.
"We need to accept the power of new technologies. An Apple iPad can store 1,400 books and it is unthinkable that you are carrying a whole library in the device. So, if you say, no, this cannot be done then you will not utilise it but if you choose to say that it can be done, then you will be using it," he said.