More changes in civil service as Pakatan takes on ‘deep state’

Khoo Gek San

The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry has denied awarding a RM1.4 billion contract to supply fertiliser to padi farmers, which the minister’s party says is the work of civil servants. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, November 27, 2019.

A FLURRY of transfers involving secretaries-general from various ministries are afoot, as Pakatan Harapan tries to deal with problems caused by an alleged “deep state” within the civil service, sources said.

Sources from different ministries said there are at least eight transfers to be made by year-end, as the government starts to look more closely into claims of sabotage in various ministries.

This is the first major reshuffle in 18 months since PH took over the federal government and is taking place as revelations surface about decisions on projects or tenders executed without ministers’ knowledge.

Among them is a RM1.4 billion contract to supply fertiliser to padi farmers by the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry.

The contract was allegedly awarded to a company through open tender but has now been retracted, purportedly after minister Salahuddin Ayub wrote a letter of support to the prime minister pitching for the National Farmers’ Organisation (Nafas).

However, Salahuddin has denied any wrongdoing as the contract is yet to be issued by the Finance Ministry.

A member from Salahuddin’s party, Amanah, said a senior civil servant has sabotaged the minister over the contract.

Sources also said the matter of senior civil servants sabotaging other ministers has been raised in cabinet meetings, where problems, such as leaks of official correspondence, were discussed.

As such, a few ministers have asked that their secretary-general or those in senior posts be transferred out.

Eight of the ministries affected, according to sources, are Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Rural and Regional Development; Tourism, Arts and Culture; Human Resources; Education; Communications and Multimedia; Works; and Entrepreneur Development.

“There may be more, as there are demands for the dismissal of some officials,” one source told The Malaysian Insight.

On Monday, The Malaysian Insight learnt of the movements of four top ministry officials, including the Agriculture Ministry’s secretary-general Mohd Sallehhuddin Hassan, to the Public Service Department pool.

Two others transferred were director-general of Primary Industries Dr Tan Yew Chong, also back to the PSD, and Tourism Ministry secretary-general Isham Ishak to the Transport Ministry.

One movement was an elevation, involving Home Ministry deputy secretary-general Jamil Rakon, who was promoted to secretary-general at the same ministry.

Transfers back to the PSD pool meant that new posts for the transferred individuals have yet to be decided, a source said. They will continue receiving their salaries but not the allowances that come with a post.

The existence of a “deep state” within the civil service has been mentioned by a few ministers but it remains unclear if it is an organised, secret body or individual civil servants who are pro-Barisan Nasional or who have yet to adjust to working under the new government.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has told civil servants they are free to have their own political stance but must not sabotage the government. – November 27, 2019.

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  • Govt servants should not sabotage the existing govt, if not u r looking for troubles, the govt will have no hesitation to terminate anyone bcos the entire govt servant force is overloaded. Even if u don't sabotage but can't perform, they may take action against u. This is the reality of the market, general economy situation in the country is bad, across all sectors, business has dropped easily 20% as the purchasing power is low. This likely to affect taxes, so don't ask for anything more as long as u r not getting anything less.

    Posted 4 years ago by James Wong · Reply

  • The Pakatan minister only makes 'noise' when he thinks he is sabotaged... but are they aware of just how much civil service inefficiency the rakyat have to put up when dealing with jabatan k'jaan? Why doesn't the Minister start by tackling the issue of unattended phone calls?

    Posted 4 years ago by Rock Hensem · Reply

  • Why has no action been taken in the Education Ministry Higher Education Department and the Ministry of Health? There are top civil servants in both ministries who were literally the running dogs of UMNO prior to GE14 and even actively campaigned for the party. In the Higher Education Department one top civil servant was a director and shareholder in a private university in Kelana Jaya even after she was appointed to a senior post in the department. Yet no action has been taken.

    Posted 4 years ago by Gerard Lourdesamy · Reply

  • What I don't quite understand is why transferred such officers if it's actually sabotage at play as to me you are literally moving the root cause from corner to another. Civil servant are there to serve the government of the day vis vis to execute and implement initiatives in serving the RAKYAT and if they have been found guilty of cross the line I am damm pretty sure action can be taken against them to boot them out of service.

    Posted 4 years ago by Teruna Kelana · Reply

  • All those monthly pap talks for civil servants by Tun Mahathir at Dataran Putrajaya obviously didnt work. The civil servants are not paying heed to him despite the pap talks and PH government doling out bonus every now and then to keep them happy isnt working either. TDM has lost his touch. He is no longer as powerful as he thinks he is.

    Posted 4 years ago by Elyse Gim · Reply

  • Many civil servants have lost their ill gotten luxurious corrupted money opportunity when the king of corruption Najib and BN fall
    They are dreaming of the good old days. It is no more a dream but a Big hope with recent by elections victories. Hence this deep state within the civil service especially police and home ministry are now agrressively pushing ahead very motivated

    Posted 4 years ago by S L · Reply

  • Money is more important than other reason. Sack them, not transfer.

    Posted 4 years ago by Lipdah Lia · Reply