I WOULD like to share with the readers of Borneo Bulletin what I witnessed at a government office in the capital recently.
There was a couple who wanted to register their marriage; the woman is a local, while her partner is a younger foreigner.
People in the office were staring at them. They were whispering and even giggling.
Personally, I found this behavior appalling, as it is disrespectful to the couple.
Despite this, I must commend the local woman for maintaining her composure. She simply ignored what others were muttering and proceeded to ask questions about her application with an officer.
As the counter and waiting area were located in an open space, there was not much privacy.
I noticed that the officer was talking loudly.
I can confidently say that I was not the only one sitting at the waiting area who could listen to the entire conversation.
In my opinion, discussing personal things, especially when it comes to marriage matters, should not be discussed so openly. Some irresponsible individuals could take photos and upload them to social media with bad intentions.
As legal-related matters are bound to be discussed, wouldn’t it be better if such things were conducted in a designated room where the door could be closed?
Are we going to ban the public from bringing in any electronic devices (such as mobile phones) into the office? Are we going to inform all staff members to talk softly to their customers?
Surely, there must be a more practical solution.
I would now like to share a pleasant experience I had while visiting a government office at a neighbouring country.
Not only was the waiting area separated far from the counters, it also had individual rooms to cater to customers who had to discuss confidential matters. The rooms were made available to all customers who opted for more privacy.
I sincerely hope the relevant authorities would take note of this letter and make improvements on how staff at various government departments deal with their customers and stakeholders.
We need to have a better standard of customer service.
At the end of the day, our personal business should be kept personal. It should not be everyone’s business.
– BSB Observer