The refusal to be transferred to Peninsular Malaysia is among the key reasons not many Sarawakians get promoted to the highest level in federal government departments and agencies.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun noted this, adding that there had been times when local officers quickly appeal to their superiors against being transferred to the peninsula.
“Often those selected for such transfers, especially to (federal) headquarters in Putrajaya, are the ones deemed having a bright future and prospects for promotion by the federal government.
“The transfers that we are creating are actually opportunities for them to go up the ladder but sadly, many officers from Sarawak and Sabah simply refuse to be transferred,” he told The Borneo Post here yesterday.
According to Entulu, the federal government actually has an open policy when it comes to appointing the best in any sector across the federal government departments and agencies – the key requirements are the officers selected are well-exposed in their areas, and have the necessary skills and experience.
“If the officers from Sarawak and Sabah refuse to be transferred to other states and also the headquarters in Putrajaya, then it’s very difficult for the government to promote them.”
Entulu disclosed that there were many cases where Sarawakians were promoted to director-general and secretary-general posts across many sectors in Putrajaya.
Currently, there are at least 35 secretary-general posts and perhaps double that number for director-general posts in all federal ministries.
He said the highest post in public service at federal level would be the chief secretary to the government, followed by secretaries-general and directors-general.
“However, I need to clarify that there are many other public service commissions that are not under my purview such as the police, army, health and medical sector as well as education.”
Entulu, who is Selangau MP, was responding to Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing who queried about allegations of government departments in Peninsular Malaysia where qualified Sarawakians were not allowed to head.
“If indeed this is true, then integration of civil service would not have taken place. I hope I’m wrongly informed,” Masing told The Borneo Post on Tuesday.
The deputy chief minister also said Sarawak should not be treated as a ‘dumping ground’ for officers from other states, especially those being made to head the federal departments and agencies here.
“I believed that there are many Sarawakians who are qualified to take over (these positions).”
Masing said this following the concern raised by Suarah Petroleum Group (SPG) on the abolishment of 29 permanent positions that resulted in the retrenchment of 13 experienced personnel from Sarawak by Petronas in its upstream restructuring exercise.
SPG president Hamin Yusuf was quoted as having said that the majority of senior positions were also filled by non-Sarawakians and the influx of Peninsular Malaysians filling the lower level jobs exacerbated the situation in the State.
As such, Masing wanted relevant authorities to apply the same criteria or standard operation procedure (SOP) for federal government posts in Sarawak, so that more locals could be appointed heads of various federal departments and agencies in Sarawak.
Currently, many allege that the majority of those heading various government departments and agencies are top officers from the other states.
Peter Sibon, firstname.lastname@example.org