KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 (Bernama) -- Perseverance, determination, resilience and integrity.
These were the four words Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak used to describe Tan Sri Sidek Hassan, a poor kampung boy who rose up to become the top civil servant.
Najib said Sidek, who grew up in Kampung Cheroh Paloh, Pahang did not see poverty as an obstacle to achieve success.
"Tan Sri Sidek was not only a top-notch KSN (Chief Secretary to the Government) but also a great individual," he said when launching Sidek's biography titled "No Wrong Door: The Story of Sidek Hassan", at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas here today.
The Prime Minister said Sidek also was instrumental in implementing several national transformation programmes including Pemudah (a high-powered task force to address bureaucracy in business-government dealings) and the National Blue Ocean Strategy when he was KSN.
"Malaysia's transformation was also recognised by the World Bank when it gave a very high rating on ease of doing business from 2007 to 2013, a commendable achievement," he said.
Sidek was the 12th KSN. He held office from Sept 3, 2006- June 24, 2012 and is currently chairman of Petronas.
Najib said whenever he read the biography of a leader, he would look for the turning point in that person's life which charted his or her future.
"The crossroad in his life was when his mother and an uncle decided not to send him to a religious school but instead a government school in Pekan," he said.
He said that decision led to Sidek finally becoming KSN and not the mufti of Pahang.
"This shows that whether you are a KSN or a rich person, the government has helped you someway along the line," he said.
"No Wrong Door: The Story of Sidek Hassan" is authored by Dr Rokiah Talib, a former professor at Universiti Malaya's Anthrophology and Sociology Faculty.
Meanwhile, Sidek in his speech said that when he was KSN, he was always looking for ways to transform the public delivery system for the benefit of the people without compromising integrity.
"I truly believe work is easy. It is we who make things difficult. It is about the mindset," he said.
Sidek, 67, joined the civil service in 1974 as an Administrative and Diplomatic Officer at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
The hardcover book costs RM100 a copy.