Muhammad Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz has failed to show up for work since last Tuesday.
Deputy Prime Industries Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin today said Haziq, who is his private secretary, has gone “AWOL”.
“I would say he has gone AWOL: Absent without leave,” Shamsul told a press conference.
He said he had not heard from Haziq since Tuesday (June 11), when he contacted the latter over a work-related matter.
“I had an assignment in Myanmar and only returned Wednesday (June 12).
“After I learnt about the incident, I sent him a message on WhatsApp and requested to meet him at the office. Unfortunately, there has been no reply from him,” said Shamsul.
“The ministry had tried to reach the family, but the family said they too had received no communications from Haziq,” he added.
He said Haziq has been suspended from his duties with immediate effect.
He also said the ministry had demanded that Haziq respond to a show-cause letter issued to him on June 12 within three days or face dismissal.
“The ministry will not hesitate to terminate his (Haziq’s) contract with immediate effect if we do not hear from within the deadline,” Shamsul said.
According to Shamsul, Haziq’s behaviour had not been out of the ordinary.
On Haziq’s personality, Shamsul said there was no indication that his private secretary would come out to commit such things.
“I am baffled that he would do this. All the time when he served me, his conduct had been professional.
“We went to Saudi Arabia on a work trip together. Nothing jumped out.
“I have spoken to the ministry’s secretary-general and other staff members and they too had no complaints about Haziq,” said Shamsul.
The deputy minister said he personally screened several job applications for the post of private secretary and picked Haziq.
“I knew him since he was a student activist around 2011. He was an important youth leader for PKR back then.
“I received many resumes from those applying for the post. I screened all of them, conducted interviews, and chose him,” said Shamsul.
When asked why Haziq was chosen despite having served former Barisan Nasional minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Shamsul said he saw no issue.
“He served the minister under the Perdana Fellowship programme. The programme is for youths to gain experience. I do not see any issue there,” he said.
Previously, PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin claimed that Haziq’s background was dubious and he is known to be close to the opposition.