KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Razak said he defended the appointment of Customs Department director-general T. Subromaniam as he was the most qualified senior officer in the department.
“I stood my ground in Subromaniam’s appointment, despite receiving petitions against it,” the prime minister told a crowd of more than 5,000 at the MIC Annual General Meeting at the PWTC here today.
Also present were MIC president Dr S Subramaniam, Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and former MIC president S Samy Vellu.
Najib said he stood his ground as it was only fair that Subromaniam, the most senior and most qualified person in the department, should be appointed to the post.
Subromaniam, 58, took over from Khazali Ahmad on March 24, this year. He was previously Customs deputy director-general (Enforcement and Compliance).
He has been with the civil service for more than 33 years, beginning as Customs enforcement officer on July 29, 1984.
There was controversy over Subromaniam’s appointment earlier this year when a letter, allegedly from the Malaysia International Humanitarian Organisation (MHO), was circulated online, claiming that the non-governmental organisation had tried to lobby the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for a Malay to be appointed as the Customs director-general.
However, MHO secretary-general Hishamuddin Hashim denied submitting such a memorandum to the King.