Thursday, April 24, 2008

Political Secretaries 2008

Thursday April 24, 2008
Political secretaries urged to adopt people-friendly ways
PUTRAJAYA: Political secretaries of ministers should steer clear of activities that could lead to a split or quarrel among party members, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
The Prime Minister said he wanted political secretaries to work as a team and be people-friendly especially with the scrapping of the parliamentary secretary post.
Since there are no parliamentary secretaries, all you political secretaries will have to do a lot of work,” he said at the swearing-in of 27 political secretaries to ministers here yesterday.
Among those sworn in are political secretaries to the prime minister Datuk Md Alwi Che Ahmad (Kok Lanas assemblyman) and Datuk Vincent Lim Kian Tick; political secretary to the finance minister Datuk Reezal Merican Naina Merican; political secretary to deputy prime minister Datuk Mohamad Fatmi Che Salleh; political secretaries to defence minister Datuk Mohd Shafei Abdullah and Benedic Lasimbang, and political secretary to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.
Also sworn in were political secretaries: Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh (International Trade and Industry Minister), Datuk Mohamed Ismail Othman (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz), Zainuddin Ismail (Foreign Minister), Hasbie Satar (Second Finance Minister), Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew (Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister), and Mohammad Khairi A. Malik (Higher Education Minister).
The others are Dr Azmi Setapa (Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister), Dr Richard Rapu (Natural Resources and Environment Minister), Julita Mojungki (Science, Technology and Innovation Minister), Wong Jee Yai (Transport Minister), Wong Ban Seng (Women, Family and Community Development Minister), Mohammad Safie Asnawi (Entrepreneur and Community Development Minister), Dr Zainul Fithri Datuk Osman Abdullah (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi), Datuk Mohamed Idris Abu Bakar (Works Minister), Yoo Wei How (Health Minister), Dr Junaidy Abdul Wahab (Information Minister), Datuk Yahaya Bujan (Rural and Regional Development Minister), Ong Boon See (Housing and Local Government Minister), Mohd Emil Azril Bahari Md Noor (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim) and Mohd Azizan Che Omar (Youth and Sports Minister). – Bernama
That's what the PM said. What exactly are the duties, responsibilities and scope of works for political secretaries? During the 1999-2004 term, when Dato' Johari Baharom was political secretary to the then PM Tun Dr. Mahathir, political secretaries work to "extinguish the smoke before the fire even started". We always had first hand news (at times from the grapevines, even) and if need be, the "news'' will be analysed and immediate actions taken. In that way the "masters" need not worry about matters trivial and petty.
I will be in my 3rd term now and hoping that the "Kelab Setiausaha Politik" normally chaired by the Political Secretary to the PM will strive to serve and strengthen the party. We should not be in the limelight and work from behind the curtain. Esprit de corps among us must be enhanced and the exchange of views and ideas must continue at all levels. May God bless us all...

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