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Sunday, May 2, 2021

Know your limits, Tok Mat says to ministers

 

Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan spoke out about ministers and civil servants after a row between the IGP and the home minister.

PETALING JAYA: Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan has reminded cabinet ministers to be aware of their powers and limitations, as an independent civil service is crucial to good governance and “ideally, there should be no political interference”.

However, total separation of public service from political interference required the highest degree of professionalism from both sides, he said.

“Open confrontation between public servants and ministers is avoidable if both sides are able to uphold the highest level of professionalism,” said Mohamad, who is commonly known as Tok Mat.

He said the public services, as a system funded by the public, could never hide from public scrutiny and the standard of accountability towards the public should be the very maximum.

“Therefore, there needs to be several independent mechanisms in place to investigate, review, and submit proposals to improve the public services from time to time,” he said.

There was room for improvement in the civil service as there was a significant governance gap between the public service and the private sector, which had advanced further in improving corporate governance and business through an active and rigorous regulatory system.

The best form of civil governance was one that was free from political shackles, and one that could implement policies enacted by the executive branch.

An independent public service was crucial for good governance; without independence, the professionalism of public services would be compromised.

Mohamad’s comments come in the wake of accusations that home minister Hamzah Zainudin had interfered in police transfers of senior officers.

On Friday, outgoing inspector-general of police Abdul Hamid Bador spoke out about Hamzah seeking power to determine where police officers would be placed. Hamid’s revelation came hours after Hamzah confirmed that he was the person in a leaked recording of a conversation on the reshuffle of the police force. - FMT

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