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shahalam29jan11055The federal government and the opposition state government of Selangor are embroiled in yet another tussle, this time involving the appointment of the new state secretary.

As the post is a federal post, KSN gets to decide who fills the appointment. Tradition requires that KSN at least consults with the Menteri Besar before such appointments are made.

This is common sense as the state secretary will need to work closely with the MB and the state government if he is both to do his job and carry out the mandate of the state’s elected representatives. It is also common courtesy.

Given the fact that the present appointee, Mohd Khusrin Munawi, is someone whom the state government clearly has difficulties with, cooperation is not going to be easy.

In fact his appointment appears to be calculated to create difficulties and hinder the smooth operation of the state administration for political purposes.

The partisan role that the Perak state secretary played in the ouster of the former Menteri Besar can’t be too far from everyone’s mind as well.

This is clearly an untenable situation and I am surprised that KSN has allowed himself to be used this way.

That adequate consultations were not carried out is also a continuing reminder of how the civil service is being used as a pawn in the struggle between the federal government and opposition-led state governments.

The same thing happened not too long ago in Penang when the state development officer saw fit to openly defy the chief minister with the support of the federal government. This is totally unbecoming of civil servants and would never have been tolerated had a BN leader been chief minister.

It is surely not in keeping with the democratic framework of our constitution for state level appointments to be treated this way. State governments have at least a moral right to accept or reject officers appointed to serve in the state. That was always the practice when BN parties ruled the states.

The federal government must respect the will of the people and facilitate the work of duly elected state governments to carry out their own political program instead of hindering them by making provocative appointments.

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