Malaysia’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the consul-general of Malaysia in Dubai who were recalled will be placed at Wisma Putra and have not been assigned to the Public Service Department’s (PSD) pool system of civil servants, says Public Service Department director-general Mohd Shafiq Abdullah.
He said the allegations that went viral on social media claiming that the diplomats would be put into “cold storage” were inaccurate and had not happened, adding that they would undergo courses to increase their skills when they returned home.
Wisma Putra in a statement on April 11 said the two diplomats had been recalled for failing to coordinate administrative and logistical matters during Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s visit to the UAE late last month.
“The relocation of ambassadors to undergo courses is a common practice at the ministry,” Shafiq told reporters in Putrajaya yesterday, adding that there were 107 Malaysian diplomats currently stationed abroad.
Shafiq also denied that there was such a term as “cold storage” in the civil service, saying public servants who are recalled, while waiting for a new assignment, will attend courses to improve their skills while still on the payroll.
He said they would be given assignments and were required to attend courses, adding that their salaries would not be deducted, and that the interpretation of “cold storage” in the community should be corrected.
He also said that new placements or being placed in the pool system while waiting for new assignments should not be viewed in a negative light.
“Civil servants are ready to be reassigned and that is one of the pledges of the public service, namely to serve without fear or favour,” he added.
According to Shafiq, a total of 29 diplomatic positions have yet to be filled, the duties of which are being carried out by the charge d’affaires. The matter is being discussed with the ministry’s secretary-general M Shahrul Ikram Yaakob so the vacancies can be immediately filled.