A gross violation of the civil service code

By Thomas Lee Seng Hock | Mysinchew

The current spat between Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and the state development officer Nik Ali Mat Yunus highlights a fundamental flaw in the Malaysian civil service.

In the democratic system of government, of which Malaysia professes to practise, the civil service is a politically non-partisan and neutral body, with all its officers supposed to function and operate impartially in the implementations of the policies, programmes, and projects of the elected government.

Article 132 of the Federal Constitution states that federal civil servants hold office at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and state civil servants at the pleasure of the respective Sultan. Which means that the civil servants are not beholden to any political party but to His Majesty’s government of the day. His Majestic is above politics, and so must all those civil servants appointed under his royal command and name.

As is supposed to be the practice, a change in the government after a general election is not supposed to affect the administration and public service of the nation or a state as the civil service’s loyalty is absolutely with His Majesty’s elected government of the day.

The fundamental flaw in Malaysia is that civil servants think they are officers of the Barisan Nasional, specifically Umno, and even with a change of government at the state level, they operate as if Umno is the authority and Umno leaders their bosses, taking orders only from Umno.

Such a dangerous attitude borders on sedition, as if it could be interpret to mean the civil servants are not serving His Majesty’s elected government, but taking order from those not authorised constitutionally to give them.

The very fact that Nik Ali participated at a press conference called by Umno and used it to launch an unwarranted and unjustified verbal attack on the chief minister is a gross violation of his status as a non-partisan and neutral civil servant.

The fundamental integrity and probity of the civil service have been desecrated by Nik Ali’s involvement in the political press conference initiated by an Umno state assembly member, something not to be taken lightly by the Cabinet and the Public Service Commission.

Nothing less than an appropriate disciplinary action should be taken against Nik Ali for such a serious case of lese majeste. And he should be made to apologise to His Majesty for exposing the civil service to ridicule and derision, and to the chief minister.

Guan Eng, and perhaps also the other Pakatan Rakyat state chief executives like Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim of Selangor, has been facing a lot of difficulties in the running of the state government due to uncooperative civil servants whose loyalty is apparently to Umno.

In the Nik Ali case, Guan Eng has no choice but to publicly reprimand the federal officer for allegedly not being accountable and responsible for his mistakes which affect the well-being of the state.

“These officials get high pay and do nothing for the people and instead cost losses. We hope he can be more professional,” Guan Eng was quoted as saying by various newspapers.

Guan Eng has also claimed that Nik Ali tried to sabotage the state government openly and blatantly. On this allegation, the very fact that Nik Ali was at an Umno press conference with prepared media statements to lambaste the chief minister proves that Guan Eng is telling the truth.

Obviously, Nik Ali has failed as a senior civil servant to exercise his impartiality and neutrality when he allowed himself to be used by Umno to attack Guan Eng, calling the chief minister rude.

If the Najib administration truly professes to practise the “People first” concept, then justice must be done and seen to be done for the people of Penang, who elected Lim Guan Eng as their chief minister, by taking disciplinary action against the federal officer who violated the sacred principle of impartiality in the civil service.

That is the least Datuk Seri Najib Razak should do to show the people that he is a fair, just and righteous prime minister, worthy of their respect.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 6:51 am

    How do Malaysians expect fairness from an appointed UMNO-b PM that is also expected and required to do exactly what Mat Yunus was doing to LGE.
    Perak is supposedly the success of Najib’s leadership in UMNO B…..corrupted to the core…arrogant and have no guilty conscience in whatever they are doing….to hurt Malaysians.
    One is doing in Selangor to Khalid and another in Penang.
    If cannot buy up frogs…their UMNO B little napoleons are expected to perform and upset oppositions.
    Look at the bigger picture….the whole of Malaysia..and observe all the moves by various UMNO B individuals….and you can easily see..UMNO B must apply all sorts of low class stunts to hope Malaysians will hate LGE..and Khalid.
    I admire Lim Guan Eng fearless confrontation with Mat Yunus.
    When Koh Tsu Khoon managed Penang for 18 years…..heap of praises and compliments given to him…and Penang folks .. voted him out.
    Therefore..it will be Penang voters that will have the final say…and it looks like it that vast majority simply love what Lim Guan Eng is doing so far….and that’s why …a jerk like Mat Yunus must perform is low class stunts..with no fear to be remanded or warned by Najib at all.
    Najib..wheeling and dealing is Sibu offering bribes with conditions…also not offensive..by UMNO B’s laws and rules.
    LGE needs to hold on to exactly what he is with patience and tolerance and most of all..with no fear…and all will be well for him.
    Penang folks are well known to be freedom fighters..and UMNO B is setting traps over traps for all opposition leaders.
    That’s their “People First. Performance Now”
    Th People First is always UMNO B people…not all Malaysians.
    To disunite Malaysians and divide to rule..will be their greatest achievement to succeed.
    To unite all like what Lim Guan Eng and DAP are doing in Penang will be hell for Najib.

  2. #2 by penang lim on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 7:24 am

    totally agree with monster ball on his comments with regards to YB LGE – if you go to penang today and asked around , the majority are singing praises for him – to them Sdr is the onlly one who could lead Penang into better times – fairness with transparency and work with fear or favour – there is light at the end of the tunnel unlike the previous state govt where gloomy times looms all the time – penangites will give BN hell in the next 13GE- THIS IS ALREADY A FOREGO CONCLUSION

  3. #3 by penang lim on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 7:32 am

    sorry typo error – should read as work withOUT fear or favour

  4. #4 by kluangman on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 8:05 am

    Something somewhere stupid, if a Menteri Besar or Chief Minister has an public quarrel with the Government Officer and twice the fool if he blame back openly by the officer.

    Government officials should be called by the Chief Minister to clarify and any errors or public statements to be made by the Chief Minister with evidence and reason to correct the situation.

    Every officer of the Federal Government is required to adhere to the current Federal Government and are now ruled by the Barisan Nasional, as well as state officer of state government in Penang will be compliant to the current state of the DAP.

    This is not the issue, one who is compliant, but the issue of stupidity Chief Minister of Penang who still do not want to admit kebodohannya, twice a fool.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 8:27 am

    And Malaysians can keep on hoping and praying Royalties are fair to all their subjects and do not play politics.
    In the early days…Royalties are vocal against UMNO B injustices and Mahathir amended laws and orders to make Royalties performing ceremonies and have no power over him….thus the starting of Dictatorship governance by Mahathir.
    As such….to expect fairness and justices by royalties whose hands are tight somewhat by UMNO B laws and orders…is expecting too much.
    Malaysians should not depend on royalties to do wonders and should always respect them for what they are…with their limited powers to do what they like.

  6. #6 by wanderer on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 8:30 am

    Initially, Bolehland have “political prostitutes” created by UMNO emperors…now, the nation was introduced with “Civil servant prostitutes” loyally,
    serving the same emperors with distinction!….even, putting the faithful dogs to shame.

  7. #7 by Thor on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 8:30 am

    That is the least Datuk Seri Najib Razak should do to show the people that he is a fair, just and righteous prime minister, worthy of their respect.

    This pink lip fellow is too arrogant and boastful nowadays that he will not respect anyone other than his fat mama.
    As I’ve said before, wait till his lip turn blue and that’s only after GE13.
    Then only will there be respect!

  8. #8 by monsterball on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 8:35 am

    Naturally you can expect an UMNO B smart ass come here to twist and turn and call Lim Gian Eng stupid.
    All can yell and talk as much as they like.
    Lim Guan Eng is smarter than most UMNO B big mouths put together…that can only talk alot of nonsense with management skills…and totally clean….uncorrupted CM.
    Yes….LGE will get lots of firing from UMNO B toads… as long as he is doing right to shame Gerakan and BN.

  9. #9 by monsterball on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 8:37 am

    I mean with NO management skills by these UMNO B toads.
    Time is money…means nothing to these idiots.
    Only know how to talk and twist.

  10. #10 by raven77 on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 9:14 am

    Little Napoleans are the real power in this government. They can sabotage any government policy at will…just by playing ignorant. Najib cant do anything about it. The PR must not let these fellas get away and in fact should hunt them down ruthlessly before they destroy the state like what happened in Perak. Wish we had a jolly hangman who could hang all these fellas in public….

  11. #11 by baochingtian on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 9:17 am

    Yup, these people talk big and simply make announcement to falsely make people happy. Take the case of recent announcemnt of all 9A+ SPM students to be awarded JPA scholarship. A friend checked with JPA 1 week after and was told something like “tak ada instruction lagi, kalau ada provision, yang 1st batch rejected ones should be more qualified to be awarded, not those with only 9A+, ….”
    That’s the impression, no accountability for one’s action!

  12. #12 by limkamput on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 9:23 am

    Kluangman, if you are stupid but talk less, no one would know. If you are stupid but wish to open your big mouth, the whole would know. Obviously you don’t know the Malaysian administrative system especially for former Straits Settlements like Penang and former Federated Malay States like Selangor. Have you asked why Kelantan and Kedah have less problem although the Federal Government can still do lots of damage there, as in the case of Kedah where fund meant for the state is controlled by a federal officer from ICU.

    But I guess it is not worth for me to educate you more. I have no time today.

    By the way your English is horrible, it is a shame.

  13. #13 by limkamput on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 9:24 am

    sorry, second line, the whole world would know…

  14. #14 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 9:31 am

    A violation of civil service code? tell that to the police, AG, judiciary et. al and all government departments.

    They exist to serve UMNO and only UMNO.

    Now watch Humpty-Dumpty and their great fall come GE-13.

  15. #15 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 9:35 am

    Seems like Nik Ali is too big for his shoes!

    Or is it Nik’s shoes are just too big for him?!!

    Either way, Nik Ali – hello, u r a misfit!

  16. #16 by dagen on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 9:43 am

    Huh? Wots happening? Let me reply on cintanegara’s behalf since he is not here.

    Nik Ali is a much bigger shot than the CM of penang. Nik Ali is the best. Nik Ali is the best in the world.

  17. #17 by Comrade on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 9:53 am

    Majority Penangites give LGE their allegiance
    Because he is a CM of good conscience
    Unlike the UMNO little napoleons full of arrogance
    LGE must continue the good work with diligence
    Success will be his and PR/DAP’s with patience
    And also with tolerance and endurance

  18. #18 by undertaker888 on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 9:55 am

    nik has got no more free meal…for once in his life, today he encountered “work”. he forgot how to work, except monkey hear monkey do all these years.

    it reminds me of the cats at the back lane of our house. leftover food were left there. a cat or two will feast on it. before you know it, more are coming for the free food. they make a mess with their poo. soon enough it starts to stink. these cats would wait to be fed. they would meow all day, for u to serve them food like it is their rights.

    well, we decide to clean up the place. no more leftover food. the cats would gather there like before. staring at you, meowing viciously day and night, and demand to be fed. a week after that, they all just gone. and we are enjoying the peace again, minus the stink as well.

  19. #19 by dagen on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 10:00 am

    And and wot the heck is going on in kelantan -with the sultan of kelantan? Ambushed at gun point by balaclava-clad special ops police? RPK wants to know.

    Again, let me reply on cintanegara’s behalf. Umno is merely upholding the constitution and protecting the sultan at gun point.

    Err, if any of you have any response pls direct it to cintanegara pls.

  20. #20 by House Victim on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 10:49 am

    If DAP really wants to show that they will run the State with Law, Rules & Regulation, LGE should send a reminder letter to NiK Ali laying out the violations and demand for an appology. If not, then, follow the Rules & Regulations administratively or legally for furhter action.

    If a CM cannot act administratively on a Civil Servant, especially “Big” one, can he convince the People he will run the State with Rules?

    On Record, DAP Government in Penang has been silent to a Lawyer Assaulting Clients case in Penang since April 2008 with Police/KUP/AG silent!!

    Is DAP afraid of POLICE/KUP/AG?
    Or, DAP think that Peole being violent by Lawyer and abused by Police/KUP/AG cannot be compared with the “vocal” assault of CM by the State Development Officer?

    At this stage, People are fed-up with UMNO civil servants. People is also looking at how DAP responds to People!!

    CM has many meants to complain, expresss or handle his “grievance”. But where can People go with theirs?? Even in a State heads by DAP??

    Are DAP Civil Servants the Civil Servants for the People?

  21. #21 by frankyapp on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 11:35 am

    Funny thing on one hand Najib is trying his best to win the hearts and minds of the people and on the other hand his choice of senior fed officers are ruining it for him. Yet he still remind silent.It affirmed he’s a kind of a lame duck a kind like AAB.

  22. #22 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 11:38 am

    Looks like in M’sia, there r separate roles played by d federal n state gomens
    Not all rakyat r familiar with d practices n processes

    It is important for PR 2 educate d rakyat regarding matters dat come under d state n federal gomens
    Otherwise d PR-controlled states will b blamed 4 things dat they do not hv power 2 administer or control

    In this case, looks like d piece of land in Pg and illegal sand mining activity r under d federal gomen’s control – ie UmnoB/BN approve of d illegal sand mining activity; mayb 1 of them or their cronies r digging n selling sand illegally n enriching themselves

    Correct information is important 4 rakyat 2 make informed decision
    Don’t let UmnoB/BN mislead rakyat with lies n wrong information

  23. #23 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 11:42 am

    Hence, 4 effective implementation of policies dat benefit all rakyat n d nation, it’s important for rakyat n voters 2 vote 4 PR in d next GE 2 enable PR 2 rule BOTH state n federal gomens
    Kick out Umno/BN!

  24. #24 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 11:54 am

    To answer Zaid Ibrahim, when you don’t upheld the value of Malayness, this person is what you give to Malays.

  25. #25 by cintanegara on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 12:58 pm

    It may seem natural for a father to defend his son. However, nepotism is not good for the growth of an individual. A father may favor or place his son for a higher post, leaving behind those who are more capable. Has nepotism had its way in DAP self-proclaimed meritocracy?

  26. #26 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 1:08 pm

    Do anyone get a sense that Penang UMNO is even more politically perverted than Selangor UMNO?

    The latest is Kampung Asam which UMNO wants to turn into a Malay Kampung Buah Pala although its all BN fault.

    I don’t get it why these people think that Malay people don’t care about lies if it favours them. Deep down its seems like a lot of self-loathing to me.

  27. #27 by Dap man on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 2:13 pm

    Some years ago the former Selangor MB gave out broom-sticks to civil servants to shame them.
    This is the worst kind of insult. Yet, not a single one of them criticised him. Why?
    Because he is from UMNO and he is Malay.

    Nik Ali lost the plot the moment he stepped on an UMNO stage to hit out at Lim. He is clearly an UMNO operative.

  28. #28 by cintanegara on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 2:49 pm

    Once again LGE has shown that he is incompetent and weak in leadership. He can’t even solve a small issue. It’s a pretty small and he can’t even tackle it wisely. Sometimes, incapable person is chosen for a particular post due to some reasons, not through hard work and accumulation of experience

  29. #29 by Dap man on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 2:56 pm

    cintanegara, you are one nincompoop.

  30. #30 by limkamput on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 4:39 pm

    In this country, practically all important positions are chosen from a sub set and yet this particular cinta-my-ass has the cheek to come here to tell us that a incapable was chosen as the CM of Penang. Look cinta-my-ass, half of LGE is more capable and honest than all the nincompoops you can assemble.

  31. #31 by limkamput on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 4:55 pm

    sorry repost, mistakes

    limkamput :In this country, practically all important positions are chosen from a sub set and yet this particular cinta-my-ass has the cheek to come here to tell us that an incapable person was chosen as the CM of Penang. Look, cinta-my-ass, half of LGE is more capable and honest than all the nincompoops you can assemble.

  32. #32 by Godfather on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 7:54 pm

    Of course an UMNOputra like cintanegara won’t know the difference beetween Mukhzriz Mamakthir, or Chua Jr or Semi Value Jr – these can’t be nepotism when practised by Barisan.

  33. #33 by limkamput on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 8:07 pm

    Do you know why Penang and Selangor state governments must be overthrown and buried quickly? You see, the longer they survive, the more they are going to show ordinary Malaysians and the world what a good government is all about. Look at the allocation Penang receives each year from the federal govt when compared with other states. Look at the revenue base of Penang. With income taxes and other indirect taxes such as excise, sale and service taxes going to the federal government and with the state hardly has any timber, land or sand concessions to give, one must be very proud of Penang’s financial management. At least Penang is able to balance its book. Now, cinta-my-ass, why don’t you look at the book of Johore (a rich state) and Melaka (a state like Penang).

  34. #34 by tuahpekkong on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 8:10 pm

    This idiot only has the gut to show his disrespect to a non-UMNO Chief Minister for he knows pretty well that he can get away with the uncalled for outburst scot-free.

  35. #35 by drngsc on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 8:47 pm

    Hi LGE, please do not stoop to UMNO civil servant standard. Please do not trade barbs with that ” fella “. We, the voting rakyat can see what is happening. Please take the moral high ground. Do not stoop to his level. You have made your point. Remember, we are all waiting for GE13.

  36. #36 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 8:49 pm

    Limkamput’s totally right-based on figures and facts to prove

    Cintanegara’totally wrong-based on NEP and ketuanan to ROB

    What capable can you fart out from ur nuthead?

  37. #37 by Loh on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 9:07 pm

    The state government should ask Senior federal officers to resign from their political party on secondment or appointment to state service. They would become a mole for the political party as active member.

    Senior government officers such as the head and deputy head of department and ministry should cease to be members of political parties, so that they would not be influenced by political consideration of their own position.

  38. #38 by Sallang on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 9:42 pm

    cintanegara, you are right.’Sometimes, incapable person is chosen for a particular post due to some reasons, not through hard work and accumulation of experience’
    Do you know where to buy dog license? Once a year, dog owners have to send their pets to the vet. for injection, and then to the town council to get the license.( A ring and a tag for RM10.00)
    I asked the young officer at the counter, why can’t the Vet. issue the license, and save pet owners the trouble. He just smiled, and said that he was under training, after graduation.

  39. #39 by limkamput on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 10:02 pm

    Let me just share with you fellows a little bit of the administrative set up of Malaysia in general. For details you may have to consult the relevant publication and the Constitution (the 9th schedule).

    For Penang and Melaka, being former Straits Settlements, the top echelon of the state civil service are actually federal officers posted to serve in the state. Hence, it is not just SDO who is a federal officer, the state secretary, the state financial officer and the state legal officers are also federal officers. Technically, once posted to the state, they are supposed to work for the state government and implemented whatever policies as decided by the state. However, given our federal system, there are also many areas which are under the jurisdiction of federal government the implementation of which are carried out by the federal departments at the state. The good examples are education and health services which are under the federal jurisdiction. If both federal and state governments are under one political party as in the past, thing would be easier. Right now, many of these federal officers’ loyalty is with the federal service/federal government they belong to. They know their promotion and posting are not dependent on the state government but the public service department (in Malay known as JPA or Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awan) which is a federal department under the Prime Minister Department.

    The same argument goes for former Federated Malays States like Selangor, Pahang, Perak and Negeri Sembilan where the top officials of the states are federal officers. For Kedah and Kelantan, these are former Unfederated Malays States and therefore they have their own state civil service. However even for these state, the federal influence and power are overwhelming especially when come to allocation of fund. For example, instead of disbursing development fund through the district offices, the federal government can appoint their own officers to allocate resources. One example is through ICU and SDO which are directly under federal control.

    If our civil service are completely neutral and racially balanced, I must say the present arrangement is not a problem. The problem is many in the civil service are themselves bigots and racists. They actually do not need the urging of the federal government to be biased or inefficient. Inefficiency and laziness are their birthday right which sometimes even the federal government may also find difficulties to deal with. It does not matter civil servants are members of political parties. In fact, they can’t, if they are in the professional and management group.

  40. #40 by monsterball on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 10:12 pm

    When you read cintanegara’s comments…you know the UMNO B clown is back to perform and make all laugh at his stupidity.
    Sometimes he need hammering. Sometimes we need to relax and enjoy.

  41. #41 by boh-liao on Thursday, 22 July 2010 - 12:23 am

    Looks like d Pg state gomen has 2 sleep with many officers posted there by d fed gomen
    D fed officers probably work hand in glove with UmnoB/BN kaki 2 sabotage PR gomen
    SDO = Sabotaging n Do-nothing Officer
    Just getting buta gaji n wasting taxpayers $$$

  42. #42 by penang lim on Thursday, 22 July 2010 - 8:01 am

    Day in day out , we hear of all these nonsense from UMNO B , the lists goes on and on and on , my fellow penangnites and relatives have decided to give Sdr Lim and PAKATAN solid support and ensure he stays as CM for at least another 2 terms – just look around Penang today – there are changes – given another few years confident Penang will become one of the most vibrant and developed states in the peninsula – Please keep up the good work done so far .

  43. #43 by newchief on Thursday, 22 July 2010 - 9:32 am

    if its tur of Article 132 of FC, this nik ali should be charge for sedition with NOT WORKING FOR THE AGUNG BUT FOR BN !!!!

    however, you MUST find out whether the appontment comes from AGUNG or BN 1st becuase do not make yourself a fool at the end of the day like muh who talked about illegal sand-mining !!!!

  44. #44 by boh-liao on Thursday, 22 July 2010 - 10:23 am

    LGE had stirred up a hornet’s nest
    D Chief Secretary to d UmnoB/BN gomen scolded LGE
    Cuepacs also scolded LGE
    Y lah LGE made so much noise when he should just let d lazy incompetent federal dog sleep n enjoy d big fat salary n perks
    Hope LGE learns his lesson 2 maintain a good relationship with d federal Sabotaging n Do-nothing Officers

  45. #45 by lopez on Thursday, 22 July 2010 - 9:05 pm

    SACK him immediately and save our taxes for better use for the people and the nation.

    and never on him and like him.
    EVICT him off the gomen housing and car
    Now dont sack him and then reuse him as director in GLC or something like dat.
    there are some pple who deserve this treatment and this nik is the most suitable napolean.
    Other napoleans be careful ..or else resign now

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