Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Wonders of Government

According to ancient wisdom, "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."

However, in modern government more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:
1. Buying a stronger whip.
2. Changing riders.
3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.
5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.
7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse's performance.
10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.
11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.
12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

And of course...

13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I've Survived the PTK3 DG44 Course!

I've just returned from my PTK3 DG44 course and my first priority was sleep. But now I'm okay and ready to share info.

First off, whoever tells you you don't need to memorize info for the PTK3 level of exam either has never sat for the exam or has photographic memory. I had to memorize the Twelve Pillars (Tonggak12), 16 moral values (nilai2 murni), civil servant ethics code, education ministry ethics code, steps in TQM, and ALL the govt vision aims objectives policies ... (hint: acronyms help). I only wish I'd done this BEFORE I went for the exam course.

Second, the key word for this course is APPLICATION. They don't want to hear about the latest discoveries, theories or how long your bibliography pages are. They want to know how you translate govt policy into a plan of action.

Third, don't take the assignment (15-25 pages) lightly. First thing to do is understand the question. Next is prepare an answer that fulfils all requirements. I'd advise you to have more than four points.

Fourth, practise your public speaking skills in both English and Malay before you go for the course. Otherwise, you'll r e g r e t it.

Fifth, if you don't have a regular diet of vitamin pills or whatever, start a month before. This doesn't apply to those disgustingly super healthy ones. Personally, I took a cocktail of vitamin C, spirulina and memory pills. The old brain doesn't remember things like it used to. But I didn't fall sick at all and actually had to dispense some vit C to a friend.

Sixth, practise your best handwriting... the examiners complained about unreadable writing.
Personally, I discovered that my hand was more used to keyboards than pens. And you'll find yourself writing about 15 pages during the exam. And I'd put that as a minimum.

Seventh. Never used a notebook before? Don't know what's powerpoint? Better find out...

Eighth, when you go for the course, think corporate. They will evaluate you from check-in to check-out on your ketrampilan which I take to mean behaviour and dressing that befits middle managers.

Ninth, KNOW the mark scheme for all evaluations and GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT. Even if you disagree.

Tenth, work with friends and coursemates. Sharing can only boost the knowledge you have but if you're selfish with what you know and you keep it to yourself, others will not share with you either.

Now the most difficult part...waiting for the results.