A civil servant from Malaysia’s Ministry of Education was sacked after he was absent from work for more than 2,000 days, according to a report by Astro Awani on Tuesday (Nov 14).
Astro quoted Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid, who was speaking at the launch of the ministry’s Integrity Day where he stressed the importance of integrity among civil servants and how they must strive to avoid being dismissed from work.
Mahdzir cited an example of how a ministry employee was sacked after being absent from work for 2,002 days – which is equivalent to almost five-and-a-half years.
“This incident happened in a rural school and we do not actually know how the employee could be absent for up to 2,000 days,” he reportedly said.
“We don’t know what the problem was – the principal was persuading the employee to come to work for years,” he added.
Mahdzir did not specify that the staff in question was a teacher, adding that the employee could also be a school clerk or lab assistant.
“We take into consideration the fact that civil servants staying in rural areas sometimes are forced to take a boat for six hours, then drive for two hours before walking for another four hours to finally get to work … but I’m not saying that’s what happened (in this case),” he added.
Mahdzir was also quoted by Bernama as saying that out of almost 3,500 cases of wrongdoing committed by employees from the Ministry of Education from 2010 till October 2017, 55.4 per cent of the cases were relating to absenteeism.
And of the absenteeism cases, more than 68 per cent were committed by executives while the rest involved personnel at management level.
The Malaysian government encourages any civil servant who faces problems to seek help from the counseling department in their respective offices, Astro added.