PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa was announced as the new chief secretary to the government, replacing Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, effective on Sunday.
Sidek, whose contract ends on Sunday, steps down from the post he assumed in 2006.
The New Straits Times had this month named Ali, who is the director-general of the Public-Private Partnership Unit in the Prime Minister's Department (Ukas), as one of the candidates for the post of top civil servant.
His appointment was announced by the Prime Minister's Office.
When contacted, Ali promised to continue improving the delivery system and initiatives that were introduced by his predecessor, including the Blue Ocean Strategy and the Special Taskforce to Facilitate Business (Pemudah).
He said he appreciated the trust placed in him by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Ali said he planned to develop a closer rapport with civil servants.
According to Bernama, Ali was born in Kluang, Johor, in 1955 and obtained a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from University of Malaya, and a Master in Economics and a PhD in Environmental Science and Economics from Oklahoma State University, the United States.
He started his career in the Administrative and Diplomatic Service as Trade and Industry Ministry assistant secretary on Jan 5, 1981.
He served the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister's Department from Dec 16, 1997, to April 21, 2009.
At the department, he held the positions of director of disbursement division and deputy director-general of the National Transformation and Advancement Programme before being appointed director-general of Ukas on April 22, 2009.
Sidek said Datuk Khazali Ahmad had been appointed the new Customs director-general, while Datuk Abu Bakar Hassan had taken over Khazali's post as Sabah state secretary.
Khazali replaced Datuk Seri Mohamed Khalid, who had served 35 years in service, said Sidek.
Both postings will take effect on Friday.