Selangor and Federal governments at odds over new state secretary

By Wani Muttiah, The Star

KLANG: With the quarrel over the 1Malaysia logo still hot, fresh trouble is brewing between the Federal and Selangor governments – this time over the appointment of the new state secretary.

The new senior officer replaces Datuk Ramli Mahmud who retires on Friday.

Barely hours after Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan issued a statement yesterday announcing that Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) director Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi had been appointed to the position effective a day later, the state government countered with another statement refuting the appointment.

This is the latest in a series of major quarrels between the two governments over policy matters since the Pakatan Rakyat took over the state following the general election in 2008.

Sidek’s statement, issued at about noon, stated that Khusrin’s appointment had “received the consent of the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah”.

The country’s head civil servant also announced that Sabak Bernam District Officer Marzuki Hussin would take over the Jais director’s post. This appointment was also consented to by the Sultan.

At about 2.30pm, Khalid’s media secretariat issued a statement stating the appointment was “not final” because the Mentri Besar was not informed of Mohd Khusrin’s appointment.

Given this, added the statement, Khalid had written to the Sultan saying he had been kept in the dark about Mohd Khusrin’s appointment. The statement also said the state government had shortlisted three candidates and their names had been forwarded to the Sultan.

Khalid is scheduled to have an audience with the Sultan on Wednesday

A Pakatan Rakyat elected representative cited several controversies involving Mohd Khusrin and Jais in recent times that made him the state government’s “worst nightmare” as the choice for the crucial state secretary post.

Meanwhile, a retired top ranking civil servant said there was nothing wrong with the manner in which Mohd Khusrin’s appointment was made.

“Even the Selangor state constitution stipulates that the appointment is finalised by the Public Services Commission (PSC) which falls under the auspices of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. This means that the appointment is not a federal government appointment. The Chief Secretary to the Government is merely announcing the decision of the PSC,” he said.

The former civil servant also said Mohd Khusrin was on the list of eight names deliberated by the PSC for the appointment.

The responsibilities of the state secretary include to plan, formulate, coordinate and regulate policies, as well as implement state administrative and development machinery in accordance to state and federal government policies.