2 months on the job, still no sign of salary or offer letter

Sheridan Mahavera

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad personally approved the hiring of a number of press and political secretaries for the first batch of ministers. These officers say they have not been paid nor have they seen their offer letters. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, August 1, 2018.

MORE than two months into the job, political appointees to the new government are crying foul as they have yet to receive their salaries or offer letters.

They are pointing their fingers at senior civil service officers who they said are trying to undermine the new Pakatan Harapan administration.

These appointees include special secretaries and aides to the first 13 ministers sworn in two weeks after PH took over Putrajaya in the historic 14th general election on May 9.

Some have been working close to two months but said they have yet to see one sen of their monthly salary or a contract confirming their employment.

This came even after their respective ministers and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad approved to their job applications.

Several of these appointees asked the Public Service Department (JPA) and Public Services Commission (SPA) and were told that their applications would take time to process, as the government needed to do background checks.

These background checks involve police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Insolvency Department.

“I understand that our backgrounds need to be checked and cleared, but what many of us are wondering is why is it taking so long?” said one political appointee who declined to be named.  

“The police and MACC are supposed to be part of the government, so why should it take this long?” asked the officer who has worked for his minister for close to two months.

The Malaysian Insight contacted four officers from four ministries and the story was the same – they and their colleagues in the various ministries have yet to be paid.

It is learnt that the problem cuts across all 13 core ministries whose ministers were sworn in on May 21.  

Another aide said they submitted their application letters, which were signed by the minister and prime minister, even before the Hari Raya Aidilfitri break on June 15.

“All the letters were signed off by the PMO (prime minister’s office). But we were told that the process is still stuck at the JPA and SPA level.

“The background checks are supposed to be a formality, so we are wondering why it’s taking so long.” 

Another aide said the delays have added to fears that the administration is being sabotaged by top bureaucrats aligned to the former Barisan Nasional administration.

Dr Mahathir himself expressed worry about the loyalty of these senior officers PH has inherited, saying that some had campaigned and openly supported BN.

The prime minister also said the rot was so deep in the civil service that he and the new administration had trouble finding capable officers to replace corrupt department heads.

Local daily TheSun recently reported how new officers in three ministries were undermined by officials aligned to BN.

Yesterday, the G25 grouping of prominent retired civil servants urged Chief Secretary to the Government Ali Hamsa to resign for failing to protect the integrity of the civil service.

The group said the recent revelations made by the new PH administration of a civil service which was corrupt and unreliable reflected badly on Ali’s leadership.

The Malaysian Insight has contacted Ali and is awaiting his response.

Meanwhile, commenting on the job confirmation delays, another aide took a more charitable view.

“I don’t think there’s any malice on the part of civil servants handling our applications. I think it’s just down to incompetence,” said the aide who did not want to be named. – August 1, 2018.

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  • Another round of bloodletting should commence, starting with the top brass of JPA and SPA. No one is indispensable and the recalcitrant among them should be shown the door.

    Posted 5 years ago by Simple Sulaiman · Reply

  • Adopting some of the drastic tactics of the Philippines President will help solve problems?..

    Posted 5 years ago by MELVILLE JAYATHISSA · Reply

    • It will speed things up, & prevent some from sitting on their backside too much..

      Posted 5 years ago by MELVILLE JAYATHISSA · Reply

  • I like the aide who did not want to be nameds comment - it made me laugh outright! Not anything as complicated or requiring intelligence like sabotage, no, just that good old incompetence we are sooo familiar with!

    Posted 5 years ago by Malaysia New hope · Reply