PM wants civil servants to criticise any violation of law by govt

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said that civil servants should criticise actions by the unity government which are found to be in violation of the law.

Speaking at a monthly meeting with staff of the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya today, Anwar, who is also finance minister, said he should also not be spared.

“My emphasis is on enforcement. What I learned, especially at the Ministry of Finance, there are many questionable files.

“To blame the officers…if there’s a ‘minute’ from the minister or the prime minister, the officer has to comply with, but I have given clear instructions that if there is a ‘minute’, even from the prime minister, himself, if there is a violation of the law, I have to be informed first,” he said.

Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak and Special Functions) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Mohd Na’im Mokhtar and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali.

Anwar also called on the Cabinet and civil servants to emerge from their culture of contentment and earnestly implement change in the national administration.

He said that in any system, there must be a desire to bring about change.

“The system has been consolidated for decades but there must be humility to acknowledge…there are strengths but when we have new people, there must be a desire to bring change…we must not allow the culture of contentment to bog us down,” he said.

Anwar said that if there is a simple approach to administering the country, all parties will unite and work together to bring glory back to the country.

“The most important thing is for the country to be politically stable, clear in its direction and strong in the desire to bring change to restore its dignity,” he said.

With several measures already announced to increase the level of efficiency in solving problems, Anwar said he wanted all actions to be carried out transparently.

“Recently, we called for more aggressive action to be taken to overcome the shortage of foreign workers in the plantation industry, manufacturing and other sectors.

“It affects our country’s growth rate…There should be transparency in any action taken,” he said, expressing the hope that changes that would be implemented under the unity government would be well-received by all departments.