INFO DEPT FREEZES LEAVE
No personal overseas trips for staff from May 1
THE Information Department confirmed that it has issued a memo to freeze personal overseas trips for staff effective May 1 in line with preparations for the next general election.
Its director-general Datuk Ibrahim Abd Rahman said the memo was an internal circular to remind officers wanting to go abroad for private holidays or personal matters to make their applications in advance.
“This is to prevent staff from booking flight tickets when the department needs them to focus on its activities and official programmes.
“The department is involved in national activities, which include the National Day, the SEA Games, the king’s coronation, advocacy activities, public engagement and government’s policy marketing, among others.
“It has to help the Election Commission to ensure a smooth democratic process by running campaigns and educating the public on voting procedures and methods through the media,” he said yesterday.
The memo, dated Feb 28, and uploaded to a social media account, has gone viral on Facebook and WhatsApp.
Ibrahim said the circular was issued according to the General Circular No. 1 of 2014 as issued by the Public Service Department.
He said it was a normal procedure to issue such a circular a year before Parliament was dissolved to remind staff to be prepared for the election.
“It is the department’s responsibility to disseminate information on government policies.
“Some reserve flight tickets a year before the flight datebecause of the cheap rates.
“When their leave application is not approved, they will appeal using the excuse that they have booked their flight tickets.
“The circular to freeze personal overseas trips is only meant for Information Department staff. It does not involve other civil servants,”
The staff, however, can still travel domestically and apply to do so through their division heads and directors.
Datuk Ibrahim Abd Rahman