In Parliament, Putrajaya to name errant officials
The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said that the government had compiled a list of civil servants who had flouted the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993, and this included those who were behaving like “little napoleons.”
“The government has taken action against all officers who have broken the rules. Bagan (MP Lim Guan Eng) claimed that there were officials behaving like little napoleons. We will take preventive and punitive action if we find that officials to be portraying the actions of little napoleons,” said Nazri during his Budget winding-up speech in Parliament.
The matter was first brought up by DAP advisor and Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang, who had asked for the government to provide figures for the action taken against “little napoleons” in the civil service.
In response, Nazri said he could only provide details on officials who were either underperforming or broke the rules.
The minister said that he would compile the data first from the Public Services Department (PSD) before presenting it in Parliament.
“‘Little napoleon’ is just a term for officers who make things difficult in the delivery system. But I will be giving a list of officers who have flouted the rules and regulations of the civil service,” said Nazri.
Lim appeared unsatisfied with Nazri’s answer, claiming that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself had acknowledged the presence of “little napoleons” within the civil service.
“The PM has said that there exists a problem of little napoleons in the civil service. Can you give a figure the actions taken on the little napoleons?” the DAP advisor asked Nazri.
Lim added the government’s “unresponsiveness” in answering questions properly in Parliament had also contributed to the poor public perception of the country’s civil service.
When the minister refused to address the DAP man’s demands, as well as questions from other Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers, Lim stormed out of Parliament in a huff.
Minutes after leaving the House, the Ipoh Timur MP posted a message on popular micro-blogging site Twitter saying: “Walked out of Dewan in protest when Nazri ends after two hour answer without answering corruption issues like (the) worst TI (Transparency International) CPI (corruption perception index) or Najib’s Umno speech.”
When met by reporters later, Nazri said that matters which had not been addressed in the initial stages of the parliamentary debate on Budget 2011 could still be brought up at the committee stage.
“I will answer everything,” said Nazri.
PR states such as Penang, which is under the administration of Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, have claimed in previous months that civil servants were “uncooperative” and did not respect the ruling state government.
In a highly-publicised spat between Lim and Penang State Development Officer (SDO) Nik Ali Mat Yunus then, the chief minister claimed that Nik Ali had been obstinate with regards to an illegal sand excavation investigation.
The accusation then escalated into a verbal war between Nik Ali and Lim, with the federal officer retaliating by calling Lim an “insolent, uncivilised and a coward” during an Umno function.
Other leaders including Kit Siang and Chief Secretary Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan also waded into the fray, turning the spat into a open confrontation between the civil service and DAP.
Sidek also accused Guan Eng of being “excessive” in his remarks and has given his assurance that Nik Ali would not be reprimanded for criticising a chief minister.