What else can we use the star-rating system to judge? Hotels, local authorities, education providers and even public toilets are rated based on a variety of criteria appropriate to their respective categories.
It is a recognition of excellence, with some stars accompanied by incentives, to boost morale.
No more "cincai" or "lebih kurang" or you will be rated with the dreaded one-star for poor performance or even insulted with a no-star rating. What could be worse than not getting a single star?
Even Subang Jaya Municipal Council staff are starred and colour coded according to their work ethics and performance, with the blue star indicating excellent work and the red star otherwise.
For the local authorities, the star-rating system is aimed at motivating employees to improve services to rate payers and improve effectiveness and efficiency at the administrative level. It is also to gauge performance so that the council are aware of the weaknesses as well as strengths and can thus shape the organisation.
Quick checks on the Housing and Local Government Ministry's website revealed the set of criteria used to rate the local authorities.
The criteria include management, strategic planning, programmes with stakeholders, branding efforts, procedures in issuing licenses, infrastructures including road maintenance, and public complaints management.
Even communication with us, the media, was given some weight in the checklist. The public could also voice their opinions on the criteria within a stipulated time.
As a result, 21 local authorities, including City Hall and seven councils in Selangor, were rated four stars by the ministry last month.
As in the previous audit, none of the 149 local authorities managed a five-star rating. It was, however, an improvement from the previous one, where only 13 local authorities received four stars.
It is hoped that the good practice continues and services continue to improve after the rating, and not only during the audit period.
Without realising it, we actually give ratings to places, services, food, movies and others in our daily life.
It is reflected on how we tell our friends about "this stall" and "that restaurant" and how we were treated.
But our unofficial rating is usually limited to "ok-lah", "so-so", "not bad" or "good".
I couldn't help but giggle when I saw a transparent box with separate compartments at the counter of the immigration office a few months ago.
Visitors were supposed to place the "ballot paper" in the form of the queue ticket in the different compartments based on their experience with the front desk staff.
I thought it was brilliant to use smiley emoticons on the box to catch the attention of the visitors.
There were a smiling smiley, a straight-faced smiley and an angry smiley for the customers to express how they felt about the services rendered.
My giggling was cut short when I was told that I was at the wrong counter. A frowning emoticon formed on my face as I chided myself for my refusal to ask for directions from the receptionist at the lobby.
I wonder what would be used to rate us as civilians. It will probably be based on civic-mindedness, diligent rate-paying, and whether we abide by the law.
If the rating system is similar to Subang Jaya Municipal Council's system, those with high-level of civic-mindedness should be awarded a blue star. If it involves prize and incentives for five-star recipients, I'll probably put some serious thought into it.