The three government secretaries that the Lhengye Zhungtshog (cabinet) surrendered to the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) will now be called back to duty, albeit not to the same position and perks that the top bureaucrats enjoyed before they were tossed out for reasons that the nation is still aching to know.
This is good news because we now know the contours of our faces, however handsome and blotted they are. Our democratic face doesn’t look so very fetching as we think we do sincerely own.
Precedent. That is the word. What we need to do as a young democracy is to set a standard that is worth following. We are just about seven years into a system of governance that is new to our society since we rose up as a proud nation not many centuries ago. A good start is the best we can have, and should really adopt. What we do today will have implications to our children, our children’s children, and beyond.
Political government will come and go. But the bureaucracy that supports the function of the government is constant. And it is here when there is mistrust between the bureaucracy and the government that the real problem will arise quite naturally.
What we must aspire as a young democracy is a strong link between the bureaucracy and the government. Our focus should be, if we are really very earnest, to make the bureaucracy stronger and efficient than it is today. We are here this day, with problems like the issue of the “reassigned” secretaries because some of us have misunderstood what democracy and what governance should actually be and mean.
And because of all these, there is something called the trust that the society must deal with. Is it the elected government that the people should hang on to or the very machinery that the government actually rests on?
The Royal Civil Service Commission has done a commendable job. It has lived up to its mandate as an autonomous body.
Whenever there are things to deal with government other than ours, we are compelled to take care of sensitivities. We should, indeed. Relations are important. But if there are things that make our nation any less than others’, it is the job of the government of this day to pull our nation up to the level where we can bargain with equal strength and necessity. We have our own sovereign right.
What we need today, more than any thing else, is a healthy trust between the elected government and the bureaucracy. We have the responsibility to set the right precedence for the posterity and to strengthen our system of governance.