Dr Mahathir says will restore civil servants ‘tortured’ by BN

Ida Nadirah Ibrahim

Mahathir said his administration would like to compensate those victimised by such moves, but could not presently afford to do so. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 15 — The Pakatan Harapan government will reinstate civil servants who were “punished” by the previous administration for dissent against Barisan Nasional, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said his administration would also like to compensate those victimised by such moves, but could not presently afford to do so.

“We would like to defend those who were victimised and ‘tortured’ for not wanting to abide to what was wrong.

“Some had already been defended, but the number is too high and we may have overlooked certain cases. If there are more of them, provide us with the necessary details of the ‘torture’ they faced and the government will act by returning them to their past position or compensating them,” he said.

“But as you all know, the government does not have enough funds to do so, so you would have to wait,” he told a Town Hall of about 3,400 administrative and diplomatic officers at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, here.

Dr Mahathir said he himself was “tortured” by the former BN government when he was no longer in power and openly criticised the previous ruling administration.

He said his allowances were withdrawn and he had also lost friends as a result of opposing the former BN government.

“When we make efforts to fight the wrong, we were tortured and we have to accept what was inflicted upon us.

“I had all my allowances taken away and lost some friends who cannot become close to me. If not, they will face consequences. But I do not hold anything against them,” he said.

Last November, Dr Mahathir had said that his personal bodyguard service, as well as other privileges, that were provided to him as a former prime minister had been withdrawn by the former ruling government.

The Pakatan Harapan chairman said this had included the forced withdrawal of all his escorts and the UTK (bodyguard service by the Special Action Unit), except his aide-de-camp, the change of housemaid and officers.