No decision on Ali Hamsa’s position, says source

Chief Secretary to the Government Ali Hamsa is said to be stepping down on Aug 29. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has not made a decision on whether to terminate or shorten the services of Chief Secretary to the Government Ali Hamsa, according to a source.

The source told FMT that the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government extended Ali’s contract for another two years in March, with the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

It said Mahathir could advise the king to terminate or shorten Ali’s term, or allow him to serve until August 2020.

“However, certain quarters close to Mahathir want Ali to remain in office to assist the new government in the current transition period,” it said.

FMT was also told that contracts for any government servants are reviewed six months before the expiry of the old agreement.

Former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali was asked to resign although the BN government had approved a three-year extension of his contract in April.

Treasury secretary-general Irwan Serigar Abdullah meanwhile had his contract shortened and was placed with the Public Service Department from May 14 to June 13.

Irwan’s contract was initially from March 7 last year to March 6 next year.

Yesterday, reports said Ali was expected to retire on Aug 29 after holding the position of chief secretary to the government for six years.

Ali was appointed as chief secretary in 2012. He was supposed to go on mandatory retirement two years ago but was on contract to remain in the post.

A chief secretary is the head of the civil service whose position comes after the prime minister, deputy prime minister and Cabinet members.

The G25 group of former prominent civil servants recently urged Ali to step down on the back of criticism from several quarters, including Mahathir who said he had inherited a government where its top officers were corrupt.

The group said Mahathir’s remarks, as well as criticism from others on the behaviour of top officials, had tarnished the image of the civil service.