The new Malaysian government is set to replace the secretary-general of the Finance Ministry, one of the most powerful posts in the civil service, local media reports say.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the finance minister, said at a news conference on Tuesday after reporting for duty at the Treasury for the first time that there will be a “new KSP”. He was referring to the Malay acronym for the secretary-general’s post, Ketua Setiausaha Perbendaharaan.
Datuk Seri Anwar has said that former Petronas president and chief executive Mohd Hassan Marican has been appointed to lead a team to advise the Treasury on ways to restore the economy.
“Of course, we will refer to the relevant senior officials and new KSP,” he said on Tuesday, as quoted by Berita Harian daily, when asked how they would go about their work at the ministry.
The post of secretary-general is the most senior non-political position in a Malaysian ministry. The Finance Ministry’s post is one of the most important ones among top civil servants as the person oversees the approval of government projects, at times worth billions of dollars.
The Treasury secretary-general’s post is currently held by Datuk Seri Asri Hamidin, who is reported by several media outlets as having been placed on leave. Asri was not present at Anwar’s news conference on Tuesday, media reported.
Asri, 56, was appointed in April 2020 when Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was prime minister.