KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy was today appointed the new director-general of the Customs Department, according to Chief Secretary Tan Sri Ali Hamsa.
Subromaniam's selection came despite a non-governmental organisation's alleged call for the post to go to a Malay candidate.
The former deputy director-general of enforcement at the department succeeds Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad who retired on March 20.
“I trust Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy's experience, knowledge and credibility will allow him to execute his duties effectively and continue the Royal Malaysian Customs Department's vision of providing world-class customs services,” Ali said in the announcement today.
Subromaniam, who hold an honours degree in nuclear physics and another in finance, joined the department in 1984.
Ali today also extended the government's gratitude to Khazali for the latter's 36 years in the civil service.
A group called the Malaysia International Humanitarian Organisation (MHO) had allegedly submitted a memorandum to the Yang diPertuan Agong urging that a Malay candidate, current Customs deputy D-G Datuk Zulkifli Yahya, succeed Khazali.
The alleged memorandum sighted by Malay Mail Online and dated March 20, 2017 stated that MHO preferred Zulkifli as he was Malay, Kelantanese and would be the best candidate when it came to protecting the interests of Malays and Muslims in Malaysia.
The memorandum added that Zulkifli's appointment would also “indirectly” ensure that the Islamic agenda within the Customs Department would be preserved.
The group denied sending the memorandum to the Agong.
Shortly after the denial, Istana Negara confirmed receiving the document from the MHO, but declined to comment on its message.