SEREMBAN: A civil service free from the shackles of politics is the best form of governance, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
The Umno deputy president said government operations are the responsibilities of civil servants, and it is up to them to manage it.
"Ideally, there should be no political interference in the matters of government operations.
"The policies implemented must be those formulated by the Cabinet and meet the aspirations of a democratically elected government," he said in a statement.
Although Mohamad Hasan, also known as Tok Mat, did not mention it, he was believed to be referring to a statement by outgoing Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador that a minister should not interfere in the management of the police force.
Abdul Hamid said the Police Force Commission should not be chaired by a minister in order to prevent any political interference.
He claimed that Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin had interfered in the commission's work, and this was not good.
Mohamad Hasan said an independent public service is crucial.
"Without independence, the professionalism of public service will be compromised.
"However, the total separation of public service from political interference requires the highest degree of professionalism from both sides," he said.
A minister, he said, must be aware of his powers and limitations.
On the same note, civil servants must also be aware that their primary task is to implement policies and government aspirations with utmost professionalism and transparency.
This, he said, was of paramount importance, as public service can never escape public scrutiny.
"It is a system funded by public funds, hence the standard of accountability towards the public is at the very maximum.
"Because of that, there needs to be a plethora of independent mechanisms to investigate, review, and submit improvements to the public service from time to time," he said.
Open confrontation between public servants and any minister is avoidable if both sides are able to uphold the highest level of professionalism, he added.