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Civil servants ‘sabotaging’ new officers, defying Mahathir’s orders

KUALA LUMPUR — The Public Service Commission (PSC) is sabotaging officers appointed by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, said sources. The PSC and Public Service Department (PSD) are even going against the orders of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the sources said.

Last month, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said there was “incitement” from outside sources, making it difficult for him to trust civil servants in the current administration.

Last month, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said there was “incitement” from outside sources, making it difficult for him to trust civil servants in the current administration.

KUALA LUMPUR — The Public Service Commission (PSC) is sabotaging officers appointed by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, said sources.

The PSC and Public Service Department (PSD) are even going against the orders of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the sources said.

PSD officers have taken it upon themselves to reassign grades of these newly appointed officers to respective ministers in Dr Mahathir’s cabinet, they added.

For someone to be appointed to be an officer, the requirements include a letter of consent from the minister or deputy minister and consent from the prime minister.

This is according to the PSD’s circular dated 2012. However, the circular does not make clear whether the PSD or PSC has powers to assign the grades.

“They (PSD) said, PM can give his consent… but at the end of the day, it’s PSD and PSC who decide our grades. Whether or not we deserve the consented grade,” a source told The Malaysian Insight.

The officers affected were those given grade 52 by the ministers and reassigned by the PSC to grade 48, which is the lowest grade of an officer.

“My minister wants me to be a grade 54 officer but PSC and PSD gave me grade 48. Their reason is my lack of experience,” a ministry source said. 

Salaries are paid out according to the grades.

Among the non-verbal conditions put in place by PSC for officers being hired as political appointees is three years’ experience serving in the private sector. This is regarded as equivalent to a year in the public sector.

“If the press secretary has never been a press secretary, then PSC will lower the grade. 

“Three years in the private sector equal one year in civil service, so PSC can lower the pay since you only worked a few years,” another source said.

This includes officers who once served in top posts in the private sector.

Another affected officer said the commission also told him that the reason they are giving a lower salary was because his qualification was not on a par despite the minister’s consent.

The officers have made appeals for grade revisions to the PSC, which have gone unheard. 

“We had to write several appeal letters and there are no replies,” a source said. 

One ministry source said the issue arose when PSD refused to take instructions from the PM and exercised its own discretion.

“As per the 2012 government circular, the PM and the ministers approved the appointments of new special officers, private secretaries and media officers and even indicated the salaries the new contract staff should be paid but PSD ignored these instructions.

“PSD assigned its own grades. And even those who previously worked in government, they were assigned lower grades,” said the source.

The issue, said the source, was brought up to the prime minister on August 17 and during the subsequent cabinet meeting, it was discovered that the problem was widespread.

“This never used to happen under the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, where PSD would just carry out the instructions from the cabinet. But it’s strange that it is happening now,” said the source.

It was reported in August that the new contract staff for the PH government did not get paid or offer letters after almost three months on the job.

Several officers have yet to receive their contracts and pay cheques until now.

Last month, Dr Mahathir said there was “incitement” from outside sources, making it difficult for him to trust civil servants in the current administration.

He also previously noted in that some civil servants were still loyal to the BN and were “sabotaging” his administration. Some of them had in fact, campaigned for the BN during the May elections, he said. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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