Strategic Partnership Programme (SPP) is a sub-module of Strategic Internship Programme (SIP) outlined by Institut Tadbiran Awam (INTAN) for Diploma Pascasiswazah Pengurusan Awam (DPA) participants. SPP is introduced to expose participants to real working environment in government organisations, to groom creative thinking among cadets and to instil confidence among cadets before serving in public sector later.

For the first series of SPP, our group were placed at the headquarters of the Ministry of Health Malaysia in Kompleks E7, W.P. Putrajaya. The Ministry of Health (MOH) is the second largest ministry in Malaysia, after Ministry of Education. Currently, MOH is manned by more than 200,000 staff.

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MOH consists of seven programmes, 45 division/ units and seven institutions. I was chosen to be placed at the Policy Unit, Policy and International Relations Division. The unit is headed by Mr.

Fazli bin Said, Senior Head of Assistant Secretary (KPSU). Mr. Fazli leads a team of two assistant secretaries (PSU) and two support staff (PT). On the first day of the placement, I was brought to meet the Under Secretary (Setiausaha Bahagian) of Policy and International Relations Division, Tn. Haji Suhaimi bin Jusoh. He warmly welcomed me and talked to me about his days as a Pegawai Tadbir dan Diplomatik (PTD) cadets. Being such a successful figure, he gave his thoughts that every PTD officer must do their duties with full honesty and integrity.

Recognitions will be a bonus to our integrity, he said. This is in line with core values that INTAN is instilling into the DPA programme. Later that afternoon, I was introduced to the Deputy Undersecretary, Mr Mohd Farid bin Mohd Arif. He passionately talks about the importance of attention to detail among PTD. He specially highlighted on mistakes of a person’s name and title are very sensitive issues. He wished that new PTDs to be more vigilant to avoid these simple yet important issues.

 In the second week of SPP, the cadets attached to MoH were invited for an interactive session with the Deputy Secretary General (Finance), Dato’ Mohd Shafiq bin Abdullah. In the session, Dato’ Shafiq shared about his past experiences working in both private and public sector. He loves doing marketing during his days in private sector and was attracted to join the public service to contribute his skills in finance to the country. He recalled his experience working with engineers in Ministry of Works Malaysia (KKR). He conveyed the important message to cadets that both PTDs and technical officers from other ministry or scheme are partner in deliveries with one common goal.

It would be unwise for new PTDs to consider officers from other scheme as a threats or competition, considering the goal is to serve the nation. He also insisted that agility is one of the best traits that cadets need to learn to support transformation of public service management. This very word is in line with INTAN’s decree of AKSARA which has been continuously imprint in each of DPA cadets. During the session, Dato’ Shafiq also calls for new PTDs to embrace the culture of “learn, unlearn and relearn” i.

e. keeping an attitude to endlessly learning new knowledge along their career. He gave an example, during his first posted to MoH, he made sure that he read scientific and medical articles to familiarise with the clinical terms. This new-found knowledge will ensure that the clinical arm of MoH – the doctors are able to trust his decisions as a leader. Before the session was concluded, Dato’ Shafiq insisted that skills such as event management and speech writing are the core skills that cadets need to master as a new PTDs. Over the pass two weeks, I have been given few tasks with regards to Policy Unit of MoH. During the first week, I was told by the KPSUK about the idea of public hospital autonomy in Malaysia.

This idea was conceived by the Minister of Health, YB Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam. I was given a task to compare the structure of cluster school (MoE), Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL), National Heart Institute (IJN) and one statutory body, which I chose Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM). Comparison on the organisational structure, the legality, the financial structure, account and procurement management of these organisations were made through Internet reading, review of legal and policy documents as well as through direct phone call to MoE. During the second week of attachment, I was attached to Pn. Siti Nur Nadia (Nadia), an Assistant Secretary in the Policy Unit. Pn.

Nadia was a cadet in “Kenchana” batch. Her first posting is in MOH. She has tasked me to write a minit ceraian (loose minute) in response to MoHE letter to MoH with regards to a Majlis Perundangan Pelajar Kebangsaan meeting held in September 2017. Loose minute is needed since MoHE requires MoH response to some paper work presented during the meeting.

The Policy Unit is the coordinator to gather responses from three different divisions with regards to the issues. This minute will be presented to KPSUK of the Policy Unit, before further presented to the Undersecretary and Chief Secretary of MOH. Besides the details in formatting and spelling, the Loose minute writing skills were exposed to the cadets during the second MP3 module in INTAN. That introduction has greatly helped in completing the task.

 Other than the loose minute, I was also tasked to compile the regulations amendment plan and regulation amendment status for MoH. This compilation will be provided for the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) monitoring. It is interesting to learn the existence of such independent body to monitor productivity among government agencies in Malaysia. To be more surprised, MPC was founded in 1966! – 52 years ago.