Most of the appointees were earning at least RM19,000 a month, with some paid upwards of RM30,000.
Tun S Samy Vellu, former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and former Cabinet minister and Umno Wanita chief Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil are among at least 10 political appointees holding important positions, either as Malaysia’s special envoys or advisers to the previous government, to have their contracts terminated.
The contract termination had taken place between May and June, right after the 14th General Election (GE14).
A highly-placed source told The Sun the move was a bid to trim government expenditure.
The individuals, two of whom held positions with ministerial ranks (including Samy Vellu), were also those who have had strong ties with or are linked to the previous government.
Samy Vellu, Khalid and Shahrizat were respectively appointed as Malaysia’s special envoy on infrastructure to India and South Asia, special envoy for combating terrorism, extremism and human trafficking, and special adviser to the prime minister on women’s affairs by the Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak-led government.
The source said most of them were earning at least RM19,000 per month and that some were paid upwards of RM30,000.
“The current government felt it was no longer necessary to keep these political appointees.
“I understand the orders came from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but the decision-makers in the civil service were the ones who had taken the courageous step to cut short their (political appointees’) contracts,” the source said.
On Aug 18, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa said in line with Pakatan Harapan’s vision of reforming administrative institutions, the civil service had brought about changes within the first 100 days, including terminating the contracts of special envoys and advisers to the former prime minister and the abolition of six government agencies to reduce administrative costs.
Earlier on May 16, Mahathir announced that the government plans to terminate the contracts of about 17,000 political appointees to reduce expenditure, following revelations that the country was saddled with an RM1 trillion debt. – The Sun