Selection panel for state secretary is illegal, says Khir Toyo
By Adib Zalkapli

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1 — Former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo waded into the state secretary dispute today, claiming the Pakatan Rakyat (PR)government had acted illegally in interfering in the appointment of the top civil servant.

The Sungai Panjang assemblyman reiterated the federal government’s stand that the appointment of the state’s top civil servant is the prerogative of the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan.

“The appointment of state secretary is valid when the chief secretary to the government agrees to it,” Dr Khir told The Malaysian insider.

“As a Federated Malay State, the appointment is made by the Public Services Department,” he said referring to the federation made of Selangor, Pahang, Perak and Negri Sembilan formed in the late 19th centuries by the British administration.

Dr Khir (picture) also slammed Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim for conducting his own selection of state secretary, which the former Selangor opposition leader described as illegal.

“The committee formed by Khalid to select new state secretary is illegal. Perhaps he did not consult the state legal adviser,” he said.

He added that Khalid was suspicious of the civil service because he was more interested in pursuing his political agenda.

“He has so many political agenda, because of that he is suspicious of everyone else,” said Dr Khir.

“When I was an MB, I worked with four state secretaries and I did not face any problem with them. They are all civil servants,” he added.

The country’s richest state has been in turmoil since Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi was handed the post which later received the consent of the Sultan of Selangor.

The state government has maintained that it has not finalised a candidate, saying Khalid has not been informed officially.

Khalid had also formed a committee headed by Selangor Assembly Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim which shortlisted three names that was submitted to the palace.

Palace officials have however maintained the mentri besar was “late” forwarding his candidate choices, with Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah’s aide Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani saying that Khalid had sent in three shortlisted candidates on December 7, but by then the Ruler had already agreed to the federal government’s pick.

A swearing in ceremony before Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has also been scheduled for January 6, which is expected to be boycotted by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers.

“What Lau Weng San said was not right. Selangor does not appoint its own state secretary,” said Dr Khir.

The Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau had said that the appointment of state secretary must be made with the agreement of Khalid as the state constitution stipulates that the state secretary must take his oath of office before the mentri besar for him to attend the state executive council meeting.

Dr Khir however said that the swearing in ceremony is just an administrative procedure.

“Whether the swearing in ceremony takes place or not is not an issue, that is just an administrative procedure,” said Dr Khir.

He advised Khalid not to oppose the appointment as the ruler had given his consent.

“Tan Sri Khalid should know that he will be facing more problems if disagreement with Tuanku continues. He even needs Tuanku’s consent to convene the state assembly,” said Dr Khir.

“I believe Tuanku wants somebody who can serve everyone regardless of political affiliation,” he added.