Malaysiakini News

Report: New officers 'sabotaged', PM's orders defied

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The Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Public Service Department (PSD) are reportedly going against the orders of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and sabotaging newly-appointed officers by the new government.

According to sources, PSD officers have even, at its own discretion, reassigned the grades of the new officers, who were appointed by ministers in Mahathir’s cabinet, as reported by The Malaysian Insight today.

Being appointed as an officer requires a letter of consent from the minister or their deputy, as well as consent from the prime minister, according to a PSD circular 2012.

“They (PSD) said, the prime minister can give his consent... but at the end of the day, it is the PSD and PSC who decide our grades, whether or not we deserve the consented grade,” a source said.

The 2012 circular made no mention of any powers given to the PSD or PSC to assign officers to grades.

“As per the 2012 government circular, the prime minister 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 a ministry source.

The 2012 circular states that those who have worked in the government previously should be paid the same amount subject to the maximum level in the grade.

This issue had been brought up with the prime minister on Aug 17, said the source, and it was later discovered that the problem was rampant, which resulted in Mahathir (photo) stepping in to resolve the issue.

“This never used to happen under the BN government, where PSD would just carry out the instructions from the cabinet, but it’s strange that it is happening now,” the source added.

The new officers who were affected by this had initially been given grade 52 or 54 by the ministers, but they were reassigned by the PSC to grade 48, the lowest grade for an officer. Grades assigned will affect the officers’ salaries.

“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.

One of the PSC’s conditions for officers who were politically appointed is that three years’ experience in the private sector is equivalent to one year in the public sector.

“If the press secretary has never been a press secretary, then the 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,” said another source.

This also applies to officers who previously served top posts in the private sector.

Yet another affected officer said he was told he would be given a lower salary because his qualification was not up to standards despite the minister’s consent.

The officers have purportedly appealed to the PSC to revise their grades, but so far they have gone unheard.

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

The chief secretary to the government Ismail Bakar had been contacted to comment on this matter but has yet to respond.

Previously, it was reported that many new officers on contract under the Pakatan Harapan government had yet to receive their salaries or offer letters after up to three months on the job.

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