Former press secretary in plot to oust two civil servants?

PETALING JAYA: Two secretly filmed video clips showing Meor Hafizan, the former press secretary to the education minister, talking to two staff of the ministry’s corporate communications division has given rise to speculation that he is plotting to remove them so that he can place his own people there.

The clips have gone viral within the civil service and created a lot of buzz about the alleged plot.

However, in his Facebook page, Meor, who is now working for Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Mohammadin Ketapi, denied that he was plotting to remove them.

He said his intention was to help the two senior staff but “it has been misinterpreted. I clearly told them if you want to remain relevant, it must be performance-based”.

In the clips, Meor who was appointed press secretary in June 2018, is seen talking to the two staff just before the Hari Raya holidays. He is heard telling them that it is a directive to sack Barisan Nasional political appointees.

They inform him that they are not political appointees but staff.

Meor is heard saying there is a “directive” from the minister and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to drop the head of corporate communications and the deputy.

“The instruction is from the top, any political appointees hired by BN are axed immediately. The minister is aware of you as (both of you) are heads of communications. And to find two replacements. The minister has given me the freedom to carry out this task.

“It is a heavy responsibility on me. It has nothing to do with our relationship,” he is heard saying. He also informs them that their contracts are supposed to end in September.

He is then heard offering to “help” them retain their positions if he can “convince” the minister on the basis of their performance. “If the minister is happy with your performance, then the minister can continue with your contract.”

The two officers, said to have been frustrated with him, had shot the video without his knowledge.

Meor, in his Facebook post, added that several friends had informed him of the video while he was still attached to the education ministry.

“To those who know me, my history, my personality, my character, I do not need to explain. However, I want to state I thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve the new government.”

It is not immediately known why he is no longer working for Education Minister Maszlee Malik.