KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 – Malaysia stands ready to host the biennial conference of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) from Oct 19 to Oct 21 at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre. CAPAM Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Gay Hamilton, who was in Putrajaya last week to look into preparations for the biennial conference, said that it was important for her to be here ahead of the big event to go over the details, checking the venues and receiving the learning excursions proposals. She said the conference was a flagship event for every two years of the organisation which rotates around the commonwealth member countries.

This year’s conference was held in conjunction with the ministers’ forum hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat. This year CAPAM will partner with the Malaysia Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), Commonwealth Secretariat and the Ministers of Public Service to host the three-day conference. “We are expecting about 1,000 delegates this year which include both Malaysia and international participants. The conference will gather ministers, academics, public service practitioners and partner organisations,” she said. Malaysia is one of the founding members of CAPAM, which was established in 1994, during the time of former Chief Secretary to the Government, Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, who had mooted the idea and now the association has 50 member countries, with its secretariat in Canada.

During her recent visit, Hamilton said she was fortunate to visit two of the places to be offered to the delegates, the 1MOCC (1Malaysia One Call Centre) and Putrajaya Corporation. She said 1MOCC was one specific area Malaysia could be emulated where it has a fantastic example of integration, planning, implementation, continuous evaluation and addressing issues that come up in the realtime. “Putrajaya is very impressive, nothing like it in the world. It is built over time, phased in a very interesting and logical way and was planned since day one, other governments are also looking at it as an example,” she said.

The conference themed “Public Service Transformation – A New Conversation” encompasses three sub-themes — shaping the future together, towards a better future and building global resilience. Hamilton said Malaysia has been in the forefront of the public service changes and understanding how it would work. It started a good job by not just looking at the forum as individual improvements and efficiencies like the past 20 years but was more on overall design and integrating. She said Malaysia seemed to recognise what was more popular to become a reform process and continued improvements with some fine examples for partners and member countries to replicate.

The three sub-themes — Shaping the Future Together — will focus on the people aspect of transformation, highlight the critical importance of active engagements, with both citizens and the public service itself. The theme entitled “Towards a Better Future” will emphasise on the mechanisms employed during transformation, the Building Global Resilience sub-theme is aimed to provide insightful lessons and country-specific context to build a public service that can react to shifting trends in the future.

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