PETALING JAYA – Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today demanded the loyalty and cooperation of all civil servants to enable the smooth running of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government administration.
He said the government doubted the loyalty of a group of civil servants who had openly supported the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government by participating in the party campaigns in the run-up to the general election on May 9.
The disloyalty of these civil servants would interfere with the administration of the PH government which was formed following the victory of the four-party coalition in the election, he said at a press conference here after having chaired a meeting of the PH Presidential Council here.
Dr Mahathir said many civil servants participated in the BN election campaigns, some of them voluntarily.
“We have doubts about their loyalty. If they are loyal to the previous party and government and not the present government, this can jeopardise the PH government administration. We want to govern in our own way, according to our manifesto, and we need the cooperation of these officers,” he said.
With Dr Mahathir at the press conference were the top leaders of Bersatu, PKR, DAP and Amanah as well as PH de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Dr Mahathir said that while government officers were entitled to vote for the political parties of their choice, they had to be neutral and impartial in the course of discharging their duty as civil servants.
“We want to determine whether we will get the cooperation of these officers to implement the policies of the present government, which is the PH government.
“This is a problem that we face. There are also some other problems which we hope can be overcome for the government administration to run smoothly,” he said.
When asked whether the government would take action against these disloyal civil servants, the Prime Minister said the government would not punish unnecessarily.
“That is not our way of doing things. But we need to know the loyalty of these civil servants because they have committed themselves so deeply towards propagating the propaganda of the previous government. So we hope that they will change their attitude and become neutral again but, of course, they have to carry out the policies and the instructions of the new government,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said the number of civil servants involved was “quite large” and that there was footage of a handful of these civil servants who had campaigned openly for that party in the general election.
On another matter, the Prime Minister said the termination of the service of the estimated 17,000 contract civil servants who were political appointees was not aimed at persecuting them.
He said these appointments were no longer necessary as they were created only to give jobs to “party people”.
“They will get their dues for the Aidilfitri; we do not want to persecute them,” he said.
Dr Mahathir had said on May 17 that the government would terminate the services of the 17,000 contract political appointees of the previous government as a cost-saving measure. – BERNAMA