The National, Monday July 15th, 2013
I READ with interest the prime minister coming down hard on senior public servants last week.
He will get the support of the people because public servants continue to mismanage government funds, vehicles, and so on.
But what about the very people tasked with maintaining law and order?
Their images have been compromised because of the many instances of ill-discipline by a minority of them.
The police, military, and prison service do not enjoy universal respect.
I appreciate what Peter O’Neill is doing; now, he also has to impose discipline on the uniformed forces.
When we say the police need more funding and manpower, the question is how can we be so sure law and order and discipline will be maintained at a high standard?
Personal discipline in the three uniformed branches is pathetic.
Law and order for the public cannot be achieved when there is no personal discipline in the uniformed forces.
Of course, maintaining morale is important.
But I believe it is linked to personal discipline.
A lot of them spend their time wastefully.
I am certain that what they get in their pay packets is sufficient.
It is only a lack of discipline in their daily lives that derails their morale.
On this note, I would strongly recommend that the prime minister cracks his whip on the defence force, police and correctional service.
Give the three heads of the disciplined forces an ultimatum — improve discipline by a given time or be replaced.
We, the taxpayers need that.
We need disciplined forces that will use their initiative to achieve their mission in the midst of inadequate resources or funding.
That is precisely what they have been trained to do in the “heat of battle”. To survive and win is linked to using initiative. And that is linked to discipline.
If the disciplined forces say that they need more funding, resources and so on to address morale issues, I would say, start with discipline.
A philosopher once said: “With discipline comes multiple rewards”.
And I guess, improved morale is just one of those rewards.
Robin Sakane John Via email