PUTRAJAYA, Aug 15 — The civil service must be faithful to the government of the day, but not to the point of willingness to commit crimes, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Speaking to administrative and diplomatic officers at a Town Hall session here today, Dr Mahathir said civil servants are not obliged to follow instructions that violate the rule of law and which lead to criminal offences.
“If a PM instructs you to kill someone else, are you going to kill that person? If you were asked to cover up a crime, that would not be right.
“What is a crime is still a crime even though it was instructed by the top leadership,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said he hoped that the government officers would remain loyal to the ruling government.
Addressing about 3,400 government officers, he gave a hypothetical example of a government officer tasked to campaign for a political party.
“If you were asked to go and campaign for the party, you must say no.
“Of course you will punished, but if all of you stand together to say no, who can they punish?” he said.