Time for Chief Sec to Govt Ali Hamsa to Go

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The group of former prominent civil servants says the chief secretary to the government must take responsibility over the negative public statements on the civil service.

The group of former prominent civil servants called G25 has urged Chief Secretary to the Government Ali Hamsa to step down, on the back of a series of criticisms on the civil service including by the prime minister recently.

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“We believe all these severe criticisms of the civil service whether coming from the political leaders or from the public, reflect badly on the leadership of the Chief Secretary to the Government (KSN) in ensuring discipline and professionalism particularly at the top ranks of secretary-generals,” G25, made up of former diplomats and retired top civil servants, said in a statement today.

“As their careers are under his command, the KSN must take responsibility for all the bad publicity which the civil service has suffered due to their misconduct and his own failure in setting a good example,” it said.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently told CNN in an interview that he had inherited a government where its top officers were corrupt.

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“I have to work with some of those people who are suspect,” he said. “It’s a very difficult job, if you don’t work with people you trust, you don’t know whether what you want them to do will be done or not.”

G25 said the remarks by Mahathir and other criticisms on the behaviour of top officials had tarnished the image of the civil service.

“We are sad that whereas previously the civil service was seen as the pillar of strength and stability for the administration, now some senior civil servants are seen as part of the problem facing the country.

“Although they are few in number and the majority of civil servants are professionally neutral in performing their duties, the bad apples have, nevertheless, done much damage to the whole public service,” it said.

Ali, 63, was appointed as the KSN in 2012 but was among top civil servants who were retained by the new government who took power after the general election last May.

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G25 said Ali’s offer to resign would “clear the deck” for a new KSN who could “restore the good reputation of the civil service as the institution that can be relied upon”.

It added that Ali should make such a “personal sacrifice”, something it said all civil servants will appreciate. – FMT