PUTRAJAYA, April 25 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today emphasised the need to appoint more women as secretaries-general (KSU) of ministries and directors-general (DG) of departments.

Anwar, who is also finance minister, said that the current representation of women leaders does not reflect the overall 42 per cent female participation in decision-making roles in public service.

“There is certainly not enough (women leaders). Seriously, I have discussed with the Chief Secretary to the Government (KSN) Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali that we should find a way to increase the number of women in KSU and DG positions,” he said at the Malaysian Administrative and Diplomatic Service Association (PPTD) Aidilfitri Town Hall Meeting with the Prime Minister here today.

The session which lasted for more than two hours was also attended by Mohd Zuki, Public Service director-general Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz, PPTD president Datuk Seri Isham Ishak, Alumni of Administrative and Diplomatic Officers (PTD) president Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali and more than 2,000 PTD officers.


Currently, among the women leaders in high-ranking positions are Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, Customs director-general Datuk Anis Rizana Mohd Zainudin @ Mohd Zainuddin, and Auditor-General Datuk Wan Suraya Wan Mohd Radzi.

Only two women currently hold secretary-general positions namely Datuk Maziah Che Yusoff for the Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development and Datuk Seri Suriani Ahmad for the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives.

Replying to a question from a PTD officer from the Public Service Department (JPA) about the approach to address weaknesses in the administrative group, Anwar said there is still room for improvement in governance among them.


“Firstly... it may take time to improve governance, because there’s some weaknesses in governance from top to bottom. We need to push ahead,” he said.

Anwar said that senior leadership, such as KSUs and D-Gs, also need to send a clear message to lower-level officers to maintain good governance and practice humility in their duties.

Reflecting on the formation of his first Cabinet in December 2022 and the importance of humility, Anwar said that at that time he asked newly appointed ministers to listen to the views of KSUs and senior ministry officials before offering their own opinions.

“I said that for the first two weeks, ministers should stay quiet. Don’t talk about policy, don’t give opinions to the KSU, just listen to the briefings and ask senior officers for their views.

“...when we enter a new field, we need to have a humble attitude to listen and evaluate, then only give our opinions,” he said. — Bernama