By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, October 9, 1991:
Tamrin Bhafar should be suspended as MARA Chairman until the controversy over his attempted high-handed and irregular removal of MARA Director-General had been resolved
The controversy over the removal of the MARA Director-General has deepened with the statement by the Minister for Public Enterprises, Datuk Dr. Yusuf Nor, in Batu Gajah yesterday that the announcement by the MARA Chairman, Tamrin Ghafar, removing Haji Mohamed Ridzuan Haji Abdul Halim as MARA Director-General and replacing him with the Ministry’s Deputy Secretary-General, Dr. Mohamed Noor Haji Harun, had not been endorsed by his Ministry.
This is indirect contradiction to the claim by Tamrin Ghafar in his press conference last Saturday that the removal of Mohamed Ridzuan had the approval of Datuk Dr. Yusuf Nor himself.
Tamrin Ghafar also put this in writing in his internal MARA circular Bil. 11/91 issued last Saturday itself (5th October) announcing the changes, which read:
5th October 1991.
Surat Pekeliling Am MARA Bil. 11/91
Ketua Pengarah MARA
Sukacita dimaklumkan. Majlis MARA dalam mesyuaratnya pada 3 Oktober 1991 teleh bersetuju supaya Tuan Hj. Mohd. Ridzuan b. Abdul Halim diberi tugas-tugas khas dan jawatan Ketua Pengarah MARA akan diambil alih oleh Y. Bhg. Dr. Mohd. Noor b. Hj. Harun, Timbalan Ketua Setiausaha. Kementerian Perusahaan Awam berkuatkuasa mulai 7 Oktober 1991.
2. Pertukaran ini telah persetujui oleh Y.B. Menteri Perusahaan Awam. Tuan/Puan adalah diminta, mengambilmaklum dan menjalankan tugas-tugas harian Ketua Penagrah MARA.
Sekian dan terima kasih.
“BERKHIDMAT UNTUK NEGARA”
(TAMRIN ABDUL GHAFAR)
If Datuk Dr. Yusuf Nor is right that the removal of Haji Ridzuan had not received the endorsement of his Ministry and he himself, then Tamrin Ghafar had committed two great wrongs – firstly, in trying to effect the removal of Haji Ridzuan as Director-General of MARA through arbitrary, high-handed and improper tactics in utter disregard of established government procedures and regulations: and secondly, in telling an untruth in trying to use the Public Enterprises Minister’s name to justify the action by falsely claiming that Dr. Yusuf Nor had personally given his approval.
This raise the very serious question as to whether a person who had committed these two grave misdeeds could be allowed to continue to hold high office.
For this reason, Tamrin Ghafar should be immediately suspended as MARA Chairman until the entire controversy over the attempted high-handed and arbitrary removal of the MARA Director-General had been resolved.
There should be a fully inquiry into the entire circumstances of the attempt by Tamrin Ghafar to remove Haji Ridzuan as MARA Director-General, so as to ensure that civil service morale is not undermined by improper politicking by political appointees.
Tamrin had announced last Saturday that Haji Ridzuan had been appointed head of the newly-created Research and Development Centre.
As the post of head of MARA Research and Development Centre would be subordinate to the post of MARA Director-General, this would mean a grave demotion for Haji Ridzuan, who had been Director-General of MARA for 10 years.
If Tamrin Ghafar as MARA Chairman has good reasons to believe that Haji Ridzuan is no more competent and fit to continue as MARA Director-General, then the MARA Board should simply recommend to the Public Enterprises Ministry for Haji Ridzuan’s removal, and not create a sinecure and a post to shoot him off.
The statement by Datuk Dr. Yusuf Nor that the new appointment of the Dr. Mohamad Noor as MARA Director-General had not received his Ministry’s endorsement but would be ‘put on hold’ is very mystifying.
Is Dr. Yusuf Nor implying that whatever the grave misdeeds committed by Tamrin Ghafar as MARA Chairman – which in the case of others would have his way to have Haji Ridzuan removed, because Tamrin Ghafar as greater political ‘clout’ than the Minister himself?
Do we have a situation where the MARA Chairman is politically more powerful than the Minister for Public Enterprises? This cannot be a satisfactory way to run a public service!