Najib’s defence of Nik Ali smacks not only of double standards

Najib’s defence of Nik Ali smacks not only of double standards, it’s a signal for senior government officials to continue to refuse cooperation with Pakatan led state governments

Both the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin have jumped into the fray in the Penang Pakatan Rakyat government’s battle against “little Napoleons” in the civil service by choosing to defend the “little Napoleons” and ignoring their outright transgressions.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin has claimed that the Cabinet finds nothing wrong in the actions of Penang state development officer Nik Ali Mat Yunos who has not only demonstrated open defiance against the state government but has also demonstrated his political impartiality by conducting press conferences under the auspices of Umno.

In Miri, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the cabinet regretted and found unacceptable the action taken by Lim in degrading the honour of a federal officer, but failed to highlight the fact that it was Nik Ali who first publicly called the Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng “biadap” or insolent.

In fact, Tan Sri Muhyiddin went to the extent to call Nik Ali “an exemplary officer” and saw “no case of insubordination”.  Similarly, the Chief Secretary to the Government has reiterated that “no action will be taken against Nik Ali”.

The above prejudicial comments by both the PM and DPM demonstrate clearly that the Barisan Nasional federal government is using the civil service “little Napoleons” to make life difficult for the Pakatan Rakyat state governments to serve their own political interests.

The actions of the PM, DPM and the Chief Secretary sets a dangerous precedent as they serve as an endorsement of recalcitrance by these “little Napoleons” as well as clear encouragement for them to commit such acts towards the Pakatan Rakyat-led state governments.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders are unable to accept the situation where a government founded on “competency, accountability and transparency” will outstrip the performance of BN and have instead chosen to inculcate “little Napoleons” in the civil service to sabotage state policies which serves to benefit the rakyat.

Datuk Seri Najib has also clearly went against his own mantra of “people first, performance now” whereby it is clear in this case that despite Nik Ali’s non-performance, he received sky-high praises from the top leaders of the BN government for playing politics with the Pakatan Rakyat leaders.  Instead of choosing people first, and rewarding civil servants who serve the interest of the rakyat, the BN government is now focused on getting an impartial civil service to serve BN’s own political interest.

The Pakatan Rakyat state governments have no beef with the Malaysian civil service and we have worked well with many top civil servants who have given outstanding performance in the delivery of our policies.  However, the Pakatan governments will not tolerate the presence of “little Napoleons” whose only roles are to serve their own personal interest as well as that of Umno and BN.

The continued presence of and encouragement given to these “little Napoleons” will only result in continued leakages, corruption and inefficiency in the government delivery mechanism, and will turn away precious local and foreign investors who will see no practical changes with the Government despite the implementation of the “New Economic Model”.

Tony Pua

DAP National Publicity Secretary

MP Petaling Jaya Utara