Public Service Dept DG: Claims of two diplomats put in ‘cold storage’ not true

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The two senior Malaysian diplomats who served in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have not been assigned to the Public Service Department’s pool of civil servants.

Public Service director-general Datuk Seri Mohd Shafiq Abdullah refuted claims made by certain reports that the two were assigned here and were put in “cold storage”.

“The two diplomats will be placed in Wisma Putra and not the Public Service Department.

“Claims that the two diplomats will be pooled and be sent to cold storage is not true,” he told reporters on Tuesday (April 12).

Asked whether the Malaysian ambassador to the UAE as well as the consul-general in Dubai had returned to Malaysia, Mohd Shafiq said: “I think Wisma Putra is in the midst of arranging this.”

On Monday (April 11), the Foreign Ministry explained that the two senior Malaysian diplomats in the UAE were ordered home as they had failed to coordinate administrative and logistic arrangements during the Prime Minister’s visit to the country recently.

The Foreign Ministry’s statement on the matter came following a report published by a news portal stating that two senior diplomats in the UAE were ordered home for the lack of official “guest status” for the Prime Minister’s visit to the Emirates recently.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob visited Dubai from March 27 to 31.

Mohd Shafiq said the term being assigned to a pool has been negatively interpreted by the public, explaining that this could happen to a public officer while waiting for new placements or if they are under study leave.

Mohd Shafiq also said a meeting will be held on Wednesday (April 13) to discuss filling up 29 vacancies for the position of heads of Malaysian mission abroad.

“I want to know why there are delays in filling up these vacancies and how long these positions have not been filled.

“Our diplomats are assigned abroad to defend and look after Malaysia’s interests in the international arena and to ensure the continuity of our foreign policies,” he said.

He also acknowledged that the pandemic might also be a reason why there was a delay in filling up the positions.

Malaysia has 107 missions abroad. – The Star