Selangor insists on final say over state secretary, not palace

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

The Selangor government has insisted it has the final say in deciding the state secretary, claiming that there were no laws suggesting a deadline on the matter after palace officials said Tan Sri Khalid Ismail was late in making his choice.

Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has agreed with Putrajaya to appoint Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as state secretary despite Khalid giving in his own list of names for the top civil service post in the country’s wealthiest state.

“The state government refutes claims made by private secretary to the Selangor Sultan Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani who allegedly said that the state had been late in handing over the candidates’ list for the post of state secretary.

“There is nothing in any law which says that the appointment of the state secretary has to be done within a certain timeframe. In addition, Datuk Ramli Mahmud the current state secretary only ends his term on March 11, 2011,” said Faekah Husin, who is the Selangor mentri besar’s political secretary.

Selangor has been in turmoil since Mohd Khusrin was given the post by the federal government two days ago, followed by the Selangor Sultan duly blessing the choice. The state government has maintained that they have not finalised a candidate, saying Khalid has not been informed officially.

Munir said today Khalid had sent in three shortlisted candidates on December 17, but by then the ruler had already blessed the federal government’s pick on December 10.

It is understood that the Selangor Sultan is currently away and will only be back on January 3, two days after Mohd Khusrin begins his duties as the newly-minted state secretary.

Faekah said today that the Selangor government had conducted a selection process on November 27 by forming a panel in line with the Civil Service Practice Notes.

The panel, according to the political secretary was headed by Selangor state assembly speaker Datuk Teng Chang Kim and consisted of two state excos- Datuk Dr Hasan Mohamed Ali and Dr Xavier Jeyakumar.

It had interviewed six out of the eight candidates suggested by the Selangor state secretary’s department and human resources department, and presented its shortlisted candidates to the Selangor Sultan.

“Pakatan Rakyat Selangor regrets these developments and we feel that it is the actions of some individuals who are using the Palace for their own political interests. The issue of Datuk Khusrin Munawi’s appointment comes just before Umno announced that Datuk Seri Najib Razak would stay on as Selangor Umno state liaison chief.

“Pakatan Rakyat Selangor hopes that Selangor citizens remain patient and do not issue any provocative statements as this will not help to determine the best solution,” added Faekah.