Give civil servants leeway to deviate from rules

I fully agree with the calls by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and head of civil service Peter Ong for public servants to work closer together in order to serve the public better ("Call for public servants to work closer together"; Nov 2).

If need be, they should go out of their way to help those in need.

In this regard, civil servants should not be shackled by too many rules and regulations that retard their initiative and productivity.

As long as no corruption is involved and the action can be justified, it is quite all right to deviate from the rules and regulations a little in order to help a deserving member of the public.

Feedback from the public should be taken seriously. The public give feedback because they want to see improvements in Singapore. The civil service should appreciate feedback and not brush it aside as extra work or something contrary to existing rules.

The civil service has done a wonderful job in serving the people of Singapore. But it should not rest on its laurels.

There is plenty of room for improvement, and the civil service should continually think of ways and means of serving the public better.

Pavithran Vidyadharan