Reports by MARTIN CARVALHO and HEMANANTHANI SIVANANDAM
THERE are no records to show that there is a “deep state” in the civil service, says Datuk Liew Vui Keong.
“As of June this year, there are no statistics to show that there are civil servants, who are disloyal to the country, government and Yang di-Pertuan Agong, ” the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said when answering a question by Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee (PH-Beluran) during Minister’s Question Time.
Liew acknowledged that disciplinary action was taken against civil servants for various reasons but it did not mean that they were defiant towards the government.
He cited cases such as being absent from work, breach of financial and procurement procedures, corruption, going abroad without permission and posting public statements and fake news on social media as examples.
“Such disciplinary action meted out on these civil servants was due to their bad attitude towards the government and non-performance, ” he said.
Liew said the notion of defiant civil servants within the government was a “matter of perception”.
“Perception is something that is intangible and does not exist in an identifiable form.
“However, the government will monitor to ensure civil servants adhere to discipline and work ethics, ” he said.
In his question, Kiandee asked whether the perception over the existence of a deep state was due to statements made by some ministers on the issue.
Kiandee said there were also numerous postings on social media, claiming sabotage against the government, including revenge following the recent reshuffle of several senior ministry officials.
Liew also denied the decision to postpone the second reading of the Independent Police Complaints of Misconduct Commission Bill on Wednesday was due to the government’s concerns over a deep state.
He said the Bill was deferred to allow improvements to be made before it is debated during the next Parliament meeting in March.
Parliament’s Special Select Committee on Bills Consideration had recommended 37 changes to the Bill.