PETALING JAYA, Sept 7 ― Stubborn civil servants seen as loyal to the former Barisan Nasional administration had refused to pay the salaries of officers of ministers under the new Pakatan Harapan government, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad revealed today.
The prime minister said the new government has found that the damage done previously was so great that there were still many people attempting to avoid implementing the new government's decisions.
“This is because there are still officers that are loyal to Datuk Seri Najib,” he told reporters after chairing a Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting, referring to former prime minister and former BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“For example, we find when we appointed officers for each ministry, each minister is entitled to certain officers ― although it was approved by me ― but they were not paid their salaries,” he added.
“To the point we found out that for four months, salaries were not paid because the officers in charge were of the view that there are matters in the appointment (of the PH ministerial officers) that they disapprove of,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said it was only when the Cabinet decided to take action on the non-payments that the salaries were paid to the PH ministerial officers.
“It can be seen in the machinery of this administration that there are people who are quite stubborn, not willing to accept the appointments of the new government,” he said, claiming that they were still “influenced by the old government.”
Dr Mahathir said that this resulted in the new PH government having to remove some of the civil servants or change their positions to ensure a smooth administration.
Dr Mahathir made the remarks when admitting that PH was unable to fully fulfill its promises due to certain reasons, such as the damage allegedly left behind by the former administration that was worse than initially thought.
He also quipped when asked if he was satisfied with the Cabinet's performance so far: “I have never been satisfied. If possible, I want things done yesterday, not today.”