MTUC says no ‘deep state’, some officials cold-storaged based on hearsay

Senior civil servants must be protected from actions taken based on hearsay, according to the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) yesterday.

(The Sun Daily) – Its secretary-general, J. Solomon, said some senior officials have been cold-storaged with reduced powers, adversely affecting their careers, although nothing had been proven.

On the denial by Cuepacs – the umbrella body for public sector unions and an affiliate of the MTUC – of the existence of a “deep state” in the civil service, he said: “MTUC does not agree with claims of civil servants sabotaging government ministers.”

He said a mechanism or unit in the government must be set up to protect civil servants from being victimised by ministers.

Solomon called for a high-level independent body to vet the transfer of senior officers.

He said there was limited scope for these officials to seek justice.

Private sector employees have collective agreements that stipulated specific provisions on the terms of employment but public servants do not have this privilege, he said.

He suggested that ministers publicly state the reasons for their actions to the proposed independent body before a final decision is taken.

Solomon said the problem could be due to poor communication from the various ministers.

“I personally know of a senior officer who is extremely dedicated to his profession being give a 24-hour transfer with health problem as the reason without allowing the officer to recover from a transient ischemic attack which he suffered.”

After his recent transfer, the officer won accolades from an international body for his performance in handling a global conference, Solomon said.

In another incident, he said a minister took disciplinary action against a senior officer without any investigation although the officer had an excellent record with only two years to go before retirement.

“This is tantamount to cruelty as the adverse impact on his life is huge.

“These are among the actions that are deteriorating the relationship between the ruling government and government machinery.”