Malaysia gives a fine example of improving civil servant conduct

KUALA LUMPUR, June 11, 2007 (AFP) – Civil servants in the Malaysian state of Terengganu can no longer slacken off on the job after the government installed closed-circuit cameras which monitor them at work, a report said Monday. Terengganu state secretary Mokhtar Nong said 1,000 civil servants were being watched without their knowledge after the cameras were set up in the state’s administration building, the Star daily reported.

The cameras were installed for security purposes but have also proved handy for keeping an eye on workers, he said.

“The cameras … were initially installed to increase security but have doubled up as a mechanism to closely monitor the workers,” Mokhtar told the newspaper.

“We would know if they are adhering to office etiquette or playing truant and we can also gauge if they are disciplined at work,” he said.

Images from the cameras can be accessed by Mokhtar as well as Terengganu’s chief minister, Idris Jusoh.

The newspaper said the cameras provided a way to monitor the workers, who are accused of taking long breaks away from their desks.

Last month, Mokhtar announced that thousands of civil servants were barred from leaving their offices for tea breaks after spendi