Guan Eng takes on the Chief Secretary

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng accused Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, today of preferring to defend his “little Napoleons” instead of upholding the integrity of the civil service.

Lim mocked the country’s top civil servant for speaking up for Penang State Development Officer (SDO) Nik Ali Mat Yunus, and challenged Mohd Sidek to admit if he planned on ending his career protecting “little Napoleons like Nik Ali”.

“Is the Chief Secretary going to end his career in a year’s time by defending these little Napoleons? Or will he defend the civil service, as a professional public administrative body?” he told a press conference in Penang this afternoon.

The DAP secretary-general claimed that the state had “suffered in silence” for the past two years with Nik Ali’s uncooperative ways and would continue to do so.

“Since the Chief Secretary does not want to replace him, then the status quo is maintained,” he said.

He claimed he had attempted to meet with Mohd Sidek a few months ago to discuss Nik Ali’s behaviour but the meeting had been cancelled.

“I tried but I failed. A few months back, an appointment was made but he cancelled it at the last minute even though I was in Kuala Lumpur.

“No new date was fixed,” he said.

Lim expressed disappointment at Mohd Sidek’s apparent readiness to support Nik Ali’s use of words like “biadap” (insolent) and “dayus” (coward) on a chief minister.

The spat between Nik Ali and Lim originated from Pulau Betong assemblyman Muhamad Farid Saad’s claims last week that illegal sand excavation was taking place at a plot in Kampung Kenanga, which had been earmarked for a government polytechnic.

Lim had responded to the allegation by saying that the state would not be able to probe the matter as Nik Ali had not been cooperative.

The accusation escalated into a verbal war between Nik Ali and Lim with the federal officer retaliating by calling Lim “insolent, uncivilised and a coward” during an Umno function.

Since then, other leaders including DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, and Mohd Sidek himself, have joined the fray, turning the spat into an all out battle between the civil service and the DAP.