Khalid criticises Sidek on state secretary appointment

(The Star) – Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim hit out at Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan for by-passing him in the selection process of a new state secretary.

He accused Sidek of wilfully disregarding candidates short-listed by the state civil service commission.

“His (Sidek’s) actions are unconstitutional, irresponsible and unprofessional,’’ he said in a statement on Saturday.

He said Sidek’s actions could be construed as a political stunt aimed at sabotaging the credibility of the Pakatan Rakyat Government in Selangor.

Khalid said this in response to Sidek’s decision to appoint former Selangor Islamic Affairs Department director Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the new state secretary.

The Sultan of Selangor had consented to Mohd Khusrin’s appointment.

Khalid claimed that Mohd Sidek had ignored the process of selection adopted by the state in choosing the best candidate to fill the state secretary position.

“The civil service commission had short-listed the potential candidates. “The State had taken a step further by setting up a committee led by Selangor State Assembly Speaker Dato’ Teng Chang Kim to interview all eight candidates proposed by the state civil service commission.

“The committee had chosen three best candidates based on their merits apart from other necessary criteria needed to fill such a strategic and senior position,’’ he said.

Khalid said after securing the consent of the Sultan, the state civil service commission would forward the name to the public civil service department for appointment.

He accused Mohd Sidek of wilfully disregarding the selection procedure to pick the best candidates based on ability, calibre and experience.

He claimed that Sidek was sending an unhealthy message that promotion in the civil service was not based on merit and capability.

In an immediate response former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khir Toyo said Khalid was obviously ignorant of the rules of the law and procedure of public service engagements.

“There is no state civil service commission in states like Selangor. We only have such a commission in Johor and Kedah.

“Article 52 of Undang-Undang Tubuh Selangor (Selangor constitution) clearly states that appointments of state secretary, financial officer and legal adviser are made by the appropriate civil service commission.

“In the Selangor constitution there is no clause that says that the appointment of the state secretary must be made with the approval of the Mentri Besar,’’ he said.

He said Khalid’s appointment of a special committee to interview the short-listed candidate was illegal and unconstitutional.

“I think, Khalid should not create more enemies over a non-issue. “He should also not go on a collision course with the Palace,’’ he said.

Khir said during his tenure he saw the appointment of four state secretaries.

“I was never consulted prior to their appointments. And I respect that, as such appointments are under the purview of the Chief Secretary to the Government,’’ he said.

Khir also advised the two mayors and a council president whom Khalid had short-listed for the state secretary post to formally withdraw their nomination.

“Otherwise they risk action under the General Order, as civil servants could not go against decisions made by the officials,’’ he said.

Rumour is rife that Khalid had short-listed a relative for the state secretary post.