Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki today accused the Pakatan Harapan government of victimising civil servants in its bid to further "clean up" the service.
Asyraf was responding to Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming telling Astro Awani in an interview that the process of removing those still loyal to the previous administration is ongoing.
In a statement, he demanded that Putrajaya explain if Ong's remark was the cabinet's official stance.
"If it is indeed an official decision by the cabinet, why is a deputy minister the one who announced it, instead of the prime minister, deputy prime minister or a full minister?"
According to the Umno Youth leader, this shows that Ong's party, DAP, is pulling the strings in Putrajaya.
"This remark by Ong further strengthens the public perception that the government today is in DAP's control, because it is known that DAP leaders have been uneasy with civil servants," he said.
"Its publicity secretary Tony Pua said on Oct 25, 2016 that they are a burden to the government."
Asyraf was referring to Pua telling a forum at the time that it would be difficult to trim the civil service, as it would paralyse government operations, calling in "deadweight which you have to bear with."
In his statement, he also claimed that the previous BN administration knew about civil servants becoming members of then-opposition parties, but "never victimised them because of their political views."
"This statement by Ong is clear evidence that Harapan is victimising civil servants, which is akin to challenging the powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under the Federal Constitution, which provides that civil servants would be in their service as long granted by the king," he said.
On Astro Awani's "Agenda Awani" on Wednesday, Ong was asked by programme host Kamarul Bahrin Haron about his take on working with civil servants.
He said that although he himself faced no problems working with the staff in his own ministry, the same was not true of other ministries.
"I do not deny that in other ministries like the Communications and Multimedia Ministry led by Gobind Singh Deo, the challenges are bigger as there are many who side with the previous administration.
"And we are still doing the cleaning up process, and we have to continue to do the cleaning up process in some of the ministries," he said.