KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — The prime minister’s proposal to withhold promotions for department heads in cases where misconduct by civil servants under their supervision exists and is not reported should be viewed as a significant measure to uphold the highest standards of performance within the civil service.

Congress of Union of Employees in the Public and Civil Services Malaysia (Cuepacs) president Datuk Adnan Mat said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s proposal places a collective responsibility at every level of position within a department to ensure effective and efficient governance without compromising integrity.

“If this proposal is implemented, it will produce civil servants who are constantly mindful of the responsibilities and trust they carry, especially in ensuring that the supervised departments always adhere to the best governance practices.

“Malpractice within the civil service is strongly discouraged, including concealing such wrongdoing. It is unacceptable for those in power to conceal administrative breaches solely to protect their own reputation or that of certain individuals. This will only worsen the situation and fail to resolve the underlying issues,” he said in a statement today.

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The prime minister, when proposing this while addressing the monthly assembly of the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya today, said it was quite impossible for department heads or unit chiefs to be unaware of the existence of misconduct in their respective administrations.

Elaborating, Adnan said the reforms proposed by Anwar do not signify a high level of misconduct within the civil service but rather an effort to transform the civil service towards improvement.

“In essence, Cuepacs takes the prime minister’s statement seriously, but Cuepacs believes it only involves a minority of department heads who do not care about issues of abuse of power and corruption among their staff.

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“It should be a significant responsibility played by department heads to monitor and ensure that no misconduct occurs within their respective departments,” he added.

Adnan also addressed the necessity for a check and balance process to serve as guidance and a culture in fostering practices of advising and reprimanding, as well as imposing penalties on those who commit such misconduct to uphold the overall reputation of the civil service.

“The approach of disciplining department heads is deemed appropriate. However, it needs to be thoroughly examined to ensure fairness to all parties,” he said. — Bernama