Ismail Bakar appointed new Chief Secretary to Government


Dr Mahathir (left) hands over the letter of appointment to Ismail as Ali Hamsa looks on. — Bernama photo

PUTRAJAYA: Treasury secretary-general Datuk Seri Ismail Bakar has been appointed the new Chief Secretary to the Government, taking over from Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa today.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad handed over the letter of appointment to Ismail at a brief meeting at his office in Perdana Putra yesterday.

Ali’s contract of service as the chief secretary to the government ended yesterday. He has served for over six years.

Ismail, approached after his meeting with Dr Mahathir, said he would implement the Prime Minister’s instruction well to ensure efficient delivery of the public service.

“In this era, we want to ensure that integrity and accountability are at the best level among the civil servants,” he said.

Asked about the performance of the public sector, Ismail said that overall it was at an excellent level but it was necessary to regain the people’s trust following several incidents involving civil servants over the last several years.

“Generally, we are happy with the performance of the civil servants,” he said.

Ismail, 58, who has served for 32 years in the civil service, has extensive experience in economic and financial management.

He holds a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) degree from the University of Malaya and a Master of Business Administration degree and a doctorate from the University of Hull, United Kingdom.

Ismail joined the Administrative and Diplomatic Service in January 1986 and had served as the secretary-general of the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry and the Transport Ministry; budget director at the National Budget Office of the Finance Ministry and senior advisor at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC, United States. On June 12 this year, Ismail was appointed as the secretary-general of the Treasury, taking over from Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah whose contract of service was shortened.

Meanwhile, Ali expressed his gratitude to Dr Mahathir and the Cabinet for having given him the opportunity to continue serving as the chief secretary to the government following the transition of power after the 14th general election on May 9.

“I am the first chief secretary to the government to have witnessed the transition of power in Malaysia and I had a role to play and feel proud to have served the nation,” he said.

Ali, 63, expressed gratitude to have been able to serve in the public sector under five prime ministers since 1980 when he joined the sector as an administrative and diplomatic officer.

Describing that experience as very valuable, he said he was grateful to have come to where he was now from a rural area, thanks to government assistance that began with the New Economic Policy.

“I have tried to give the best service; that’s why I have always emphasised to civil servants to make the civil service people-oriented and ensure that what we do benefits the people,” he said.

Ali, who was appointed the chief secretary to the government in 2012, said he would continue to contribute to the country if he was required to. — Bernama