Public policy may be defined as a course of action taken by a government to address an issue or a matter of national importance or resolve a problem or a crisis ~ Peter Johnson Other definitions of public policy are:
"Public policy is a purposeful and consistent course of action taken as a response to a perceived problem of a nation, formulated by a specific political process, and adopted, implemented and enforced by a public agency." ~ Wayne Hayes " The term public policy always refers to the actions of government and the intentions and commitment that determine those actions." ~ Clarke E. Cochran, et al. "Public policy is whatever governments choose to do or not to do." ~ Thomas Dye "Public policy consists of political decisions for implementing programmes to achieve societal goals." ~ Charles L. Cochran and Eloise F. Malone "Public policy is the sum of government activities, whether acting directly or through agents, as it has an influence and impact on the life of citizens." ~ B. Guy Peters "Public policy can be generally defined as a system of laws, programmes, regulatory measures, courses of action and funding priorities concerning a given topic promulgated by a government entity or its representatives." ~ Dean G. G. Kilpatrick Based on the definitions given above, we could conclude that public policies are those that governments adopt to address certain specific problems. For example, most governments have adopted the public policy of banning the sale of alcohol to minors. This policy addresses the problem of teenage alcohol abuse. Policies are expressed in the form of laws, regulations, decisions and actions. Policies are the means of achieving goals. If the goal is to provide homes for the homeless, a policy might be a plan to build 20,000 units of low-cost housing. If the goal is to fight and reduce crime, a policy might be to put 500 more police officers on the streets of the city. Numerous issues are addressed by public policy, including crime, education, healthcare, social welfare, corruption, energy, transportation, agriculture, foreign policy, economic and financial policy, poverty, etc. There are three parts to public policy-making: problems, players, and the policy. The problems are the issues that need to be addressed. The players are the individuals, politicians, government agencies and officials, legislators, lobbying groups and pressure/interest groups. Policy is the finalized goal-oriented action taken by the government to resolve a problem or achieve a certain objective or goal or to fulfil a specific need under certain circumstances. Public policy is made by the institutions of the government, i.e. the Executive, the Cabinet, the legislature, the judiciary and government departments. Many policies are translated into law by government action. For example, to control drink-driving deaths, many sates have enacted tough drunk-driving laws; to improve the environment, several governments have enacted air-quality laws; to prevent accidents, some countries have enacted laws restricting cell phone (mobile phone/hand phone) use while driving. Examples of Public Policies in Malaysia
The Malaysian government has formulated and implemented several policies to address specific problems or issues. Some of these are: Privatisation Policy. This policy was introduced by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in 1983 and its objectives are 'to reduce the financial and administrative burden of the government,' particularly in undertaking and maintaining services and infrastructure; 'to promote competition, improve efficiency and increase productivity' in the delivery of these services; 'to stimulate private entrepreneurship and investment,' and thus accelerate economic growth and 'to reduce the presence and the size of the public sector, with its monopolistic tendencies and bureaucratic support.' National Social Welfare Policy. The objectives of this policy are 'to develop human...
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