The public and the media can still call the prime minister by the name he has always used, Muhyiddin Yassin, as a directive on the use of his official name is only for formal documents.
This was clarified by an aide to the prime minister after a government circular was issued by chief secretary to the government Mohd Zuki Ali ordering all civil servants to use Muhyiddin’s official name – Mahiaddin Md Yasin – in formal documents with effect from June 3.
The circular went viral yesterday.
“The memo does not change anything. To the media and public it is still Muhyiddin. There is no change on that score whatsoever,” said the aide.
It is understood that the order was given following the advice of the Attorney General’s Chambers.
Mahiaddin is the Prime Minister’s given name, but he is popularly known as Muhyiddin.
In April, a man alleged to have been involved in drug trafficking walked out of the High Court a free man because Muhyiddin, when he was home minister last year, did not use his real name when issuing a two-year preventive detention order.
Judicial Commissioner Norsharidah Awang allowed the habeas corpus application by Awang Sari Lasikan as the use of Muhyiddin’s alias was in breach of the Ministerial Functions Act and the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act.
Lawyer Zafran Zafri Mohd Zaini said the judge quashed Sari’s preventive detention and ordered him to be freed immediately.
The court also ruled that ministers carrying out their official functions must use their names as stated in their MyKad and the Federal Government Gazette.