Thursday, April 15, 2010

There is an outbreak

I feel ashamed and disgust to work in an institution which has no proper management. I agree that they are still developing and they have time but at what cost? The day I got appointed I was told no politics among the lecturers and noting rude and all. But from the first day I got here, all I see is politics, cronyism, favoritism and nepotism. Just stop there, Sharwin ! What is this ism- ism? Are you saying the people there have some sort of sickness or something? Yeah, very funny. Come to think of it, Yes! It is a sickness and it is happening all around me and my nation. The most pissing thing is that I feel like I too got infected . So what is all this ism-ism I have been babbling just now?

Let’s look at the definition of favoritism. I got this from the net posted by this researcher called Nadler. J from Santa Clara University. Basically favoritism is favoring a person not because he or she is doing the best job but rather because of some extraneous feature-membership in a favored group, personal likes and dislikes, etc. Favoritism can be demonstrated in hiring, honoring, or awarding contracts. A related idea is patronage, giving public service jobs to those who may have helped elect the person who has the power of appointment.

Favoritism has always been a complaint in government service. I do not have a track record of the stats on how far favoritism is bad in my nation but please answer my question. If you all know anyone who works in the public sector, how did they get the job? Please ask they and you will know and I think some of us will be surprised. Let me start, since I am writing about this issue, let me tell you my part of answering the question. I come from a big family. Loads of uncles, aunties and cousins in my family. Some of them work in the public sector. Every one of them did not get their jobs based on their qualifications or skills. All of them got recommendations from someone higher and all sorts of crap. Don’t give me the reason I am trying to bring up the people of my race. I get that a lot when I ask my relations about this matter. Another problem is cronyism.

Cronyism is a more specific form of favoritism, referring to partiality towards friends and associates. Cronyism occurs within an organization when someone does a favor for someone else. It is something like I am helping you because you are a close from of my family. “Sharwin, I am taking you in my institution, you can teach and learn from other seniors. So, Sharwin, how is your father ? I will see him today and will tell him about your appointment. I hope he is happy. “Damn you all, they are happy but clearly I am not."

Nepotism is an even narrower form of favoritism. Coming from the Italian word for nephew, it covers favoritism to members of the family. Both nepotism and cronyism are often at work when political parties recruit candidates for public office. Oh my god, why do I think of Dato Seri Razidah Aziz when I am typing this? Hahahaha. Anyone wants AP? Hey come to think of it, what did happen to the case and till today she did not give any explanation on that issue. Anyone got updates?
What do favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism have to do with ethics?

One of the most basic themes in ethics is fairness. Favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism all interfere with fairness because they give undue advantage to someone who does not necessarily merit this treatment. Favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism also undermine the common good. When someone is granted a position because of connections rather than because he or she has the best credentials and experience, the service that person renders to the public may be inferior. Also, because favoritism is often covert, this practice undercuts the transparency that should be part of governmental hiring and contracting processes.

It becomes a problem when you are trying to be honest, well respected but at the same time you think your family member can be trusted more that some other guy you are going to hire. But even at that situation you trust your family members because they are close to you and frankly speaking it is not fair. Probably the biggest dilemma presented by favoritism is that, under various other names, few people see it as a problem. Connections, networking, family-almost everyone has drawn on these sources of support in job hunting in the private sphere.

So what's the problem?

The first issue is competence. For cabinet level positions, an executive will probably be drawn to experienced, qualified candidates, but historically, the lower down the ladder, the more likely for someone's son-in-law to be slipped into a job for which he is not qualified. Also, the appearance of favoritism weakens morale in government service, not to mention public faith in the integrity of government.
Reasonable people will differ about the appointment of friends and family in high-level positions, but public officials should be aware that such choices can give the appearance of unfairness. Others may restrict the hiring of relatives or friends in more general conflict-of-interest rules.

Public officials should also note that dilemmas involving favoritism extend beyond hiring and contracting practices to the more general problem of influence. Golfing partners, people who come over for Sunday dinner, members of the same club, housing area all are likely to exert a greater influence over an official than a stranger might.

The rich are getting richer by hours and poor people are getting poorer. I can’t find the proper vocab to fit in. Some of us want to change but how serious are we. How can we change when some of us ourselves have been infecting others with the 3 sickness I mentioned above. When are we going to change?