PM says has hard time trusting civil servants

Ida Nadirah Ibrahim

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre) arrives for a Town Hall session with administrative and diplomatic officer at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre August 15, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 15 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he has grown to be suspicious of some in the civil service as he was facing resistance that had not been there when he was previously the head of the government.

Citing alleged external “incitement”, he said his administration was now more guarded when dealing with the country’s public workers.

“Last time, I had no problem when I was PM.

“Now as the PM again, due to the incitement from others, we have a problem and are not as trusting,” he told at a Town Hall session with administrative and diplomatic officers, here.

Dr Mahathir was emphasising on the need to instill three core values — clean, efficient, and trustworthy — that needs to be practiced by government staff in order to resist emotional needs over logical decision making.

He said the current ruling government needs to rebuild the trust by being clean from corruption and bribery in order to produce quality future leaders.

“We cannot succeed if we are not clean. We have to be efficient in order to become good at what we do, and we have to be trustworthy and never take what doesn’t belong to you. The nation needs to have these values in order to become successful.

“There is no nation that is absolutely free from corruption. There would be corruption, but perhaps only a minority of them are corrupt.

“But when this becomes part of the culture, then it would be difficult to change. How to change when you report to the authorities and they themselves are corrupt as well? When a group of people or country becomes corrupt, then there is no remedy,” he said.