DIPLOMATIC SERVICE: Let down by lack of social and communication skills
DATUK Dr Ananda Kumaraseri's article, "It's all in the selection and training" (NST, July 27), is correct.
However, what I notice among Malaysian diplomats is the lack of social skills and the ability to hold interactive and intellectual conversations with their regional and international peers.
One must understand that the majority of business with governments is usually centred around Western nations or East Asian nations, where socialising involves some form of a sit-down dinner at a ball and to converse in a relaxed format. However, our Malaysian diplomats either seem to have a poor command of the English language or the inability to socialise.
This is the fault of the government for not educating its civil servants who are serving in overseas missions.
I think taking a cue from Singapore, Brunei or Australia, which rely predominantly on foreign relations, would be a good starting point to build up confidence.