PETALING JAYA: The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) is firm on rejecting the recent directive from the government on freezing new intakes into the civil service. Confirming that Cuepacs also received the directive from the Public Service Department (PSD), its president Datuk Azih Muda urged the government to retract the order immediately before the situation gets complicated. "Yes, we received an official letter stating the freeze on new intakes. It is not a wise move and I foresee the situation getting worse," Azih told theSun. A local news portal on Sunday reported that a directive had been issued by the PSD that all departments must cease any more hiring of personnel with effect from April 22. It also reported that the implications of such a blanket order were far reaching and it will affect the prospects and careers of thousands of government servants and young job seekers. Azih also questioned the period of the freeze and how the government was going to tackle this issue. "There are so many grey areas when it comes to freezing civil service applications. What if an officer in a senior position retires? Who is going to take over the position if they can't hire anyone new?" he asked. "With the mounting criticism hurled towards the government recently, this directive has come at an inopportune time," Azih added. The portal reported that the directive was issued by PSD director-general Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidi Zainal. The directive said that there was a need to control the number of personnel in the public sector towards the optimum use of human resources. It added that all appointing authorities should postpone all recruitment except for the following: » dealings involving candidates already called for interview appointment process; and » recruitment of trainees to attend a pre-service programme and the appointment of trainees who have successfully completed the pre-service programme, subject to confirmation of existing vacancies. The portal also claimed that this sudden move has not been made public by the government.