18 June 2008

Ultimatum for civil servants

The Star

IPOH: Civil servants in Perak have been warned to pledge their full allegiance to the state government or be moved out of the state, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said.

Speaking at a press conference in the run-up to Pakatan Rakyat’s 100th day in power which falls on July 7, Nizar said:

“We told them directly that if anyone refuses to give complete allegiance to the Government, the government of the day will tell him bye-bye.”

However, Nizar pointed out that the civil servants were beginning to be more confident of the Government.

“At first we had some problems because some adopted the wait-and-see attitude,” said Nizar, who was accompanied by his state executive council members.

On whether any civil servant had been removed or volunteered to leave, Nizar said:

“Surprisingly, none although we have told them that if they don’t want to be with the Government, the door is open.”

However, he did not respond when asked if Perak Religious Department director Datuk Jamry Sury, whom the government tried to remove, was counted as a civil servant.

Nizar noted that most of the problems raised by the people had elements of discrimination and his government would not tolerate that.

On whether the move to boycott Utusan Melayu in the five Pakatan Rakyat-led states could be seen as a form of discrimination, Nizar said: “If we allow Perakians to read Utusan, they would be even more racist.”

It was the obligation of the Government to stop racist sentiments from spreading, he added.

Nizar lamented that news of the state government giving out aid to 5,000 hardcore poor living in nine districts had not been highlighted in many newspapers.

Such functions could easily be given airtime but they were not, he said. “I think that it is unfair. But the people of Perak are smart and they can get coverage from the alternative media,” he added.

On the pledge to reduce water tariffs by 10%, senior exco member Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said a survey found that domestic users felt the current rates were not a burden.

Ngeh also pointed out that the state was financially stable and had some RM700mil in its reserves despite a deficit in the past four years.

Nizar brushed aside several questions such as those touching on PAS Youth's call to implemented Islamic systems in Pakatan states and also on Islam Hadhari.

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