I have problems trusting civil servants, says Dr Mahathir

Kamles Kumar

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says his second stint as leader is tough as he faces sabotage from the civil service. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, August 15, 2018.

PRIME Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not have problems trusting government officers during his first stint in office but finds it a different scenario now under a new government.

He said there was “incitement” from outside sources, making it difficult for him to trust civil servants.

“Last time, I had no problem (trusting) when I was prime minister. 

“Now (as) prime minister (again), we are not as trusting due to the incitement from others,” Dr Mahathir said at a townhall session with 3,400 administrative and diplomatic (PTD) officers in Putrajaya today.

This is the latest of several remarks he has made about the civil service since Pakatan Harapan won the May 9 elections.

Dr Mahathir previously commented on concerns that some civil servants were still loyal to Barisan Nasional, which has ruled Malaysia since independence, and were “sabotaging” the new administration.

He said while officers needed to follow instructions by the government of the day, it should not be obeyed to the extent of committing crimes.

“In our system today, the police, army and PTD officers are required to serve the government of the day. 

“But that doesn’t mean you are loyal to the extent that you would commit or be complicit in crimes. 

“If I, as the prime minister, ask you to murder someone. Do you go and do it? 

“PTD officers carry out what is ordered by the government. But if an officer is ordered to hide evidence of crime and they do as they are told, then that is wrong,” said Dr Mahathir. 

The Bersatu chairman also took a swipe at civil servants who went out to campaign for the previous Barisan Nasional regime. 

“If you are asked to go out and campaign for a political party, you should say no.

“Sure, you might be punished by your superiors. But if all officers teamed up and refuse, who can they punish? 

“If you find that you are ordered to do something beyond your job scope, you should not do it, even more so if it is criminal. 

“If my government asked you to do something that is against the law, you must refuse, because it is wrong.” – August 15, 2018.

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  • Down size the unnecessary bloated civil service and eventually the untrustworthy political appointees staff will be rid off. There will be lots of squealing on who is who.

    Posted 5 years ago by Lee Lee · Reply

  • Thanks to past BN rule, the rot has set in EVERYWHERE! Now what will greatly help clean up a big, big, mess like this?..

    Posted 5 years ago by MELVILLE JAYATHISSA · Reply

  • Best time to flatten the civil service.
    Get rid of the fat rent seekers

    Posted 5 years ago by Watchdog Watchdog · Reply

  • Ministers can decide which heads should roll. What's the problem?

    Posted 5 years ago by Tanahair Ku · Reply

  • Tun, stop pussy-footing around. Everyone knows that the Malaysian civil service is grossly bloated. The civil service was used as an employment scheme for non-employable Bumiputras - from your time as PM. That's the truth. At 93 years of age, we expect you to call a spade a spade.

    You need to get rid of at least 200,000 civil servants - and you know it. But the trick is - where in God's name will these people go for a job? they are uneducated, untrained to do any real work, and are used to the easy life. Ok, so, stop hiring then. Let 200,000 civil servants retire over the next 2-3 years before the government starts hiring again. Whatever it is, stop molly-coddling these incompetent rent seekers and force them into mainstream society.

    Posted 5 years ago by Salman Omani · Reply