Former Malaysian minister Rafidah tells civil servants to hold the fort amid country's political crisis

PETALING JAYA - Malaysia's civil service should hold the fort given the country's current political climate, former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said on Wednesday, Malaysian media reported.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, the former International, Trade and Industry Minister urged all levels of the administration to focus on the country's governance, The Star reported.

"We have economic issues that must be addressed expeditiously," she wrote, citing problems such as the country's weakening currency.

"If in the political sphere we seem to be losing it, let the rest of the government, starting with our commendable civil servants, hold the fort," the Malaysian Insider cited her as saying.

Rafidah, who was also former Wanita Umno chief, said she was concerned over the allegations surrounding the troubled 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) state investment firm.

She said the allegations were serious matters but called for a stop to a trial by media as it was a distraction from the real issues affecting the country.

"Bottomline. Get on and continue with every aspect of the investigations. Without fear and favour," she said, urging the authorities involved to complete the investigations.

1MDB,which has debts of more than US$11 billion (S$16 billion), is under investigation for graft and financial mismanagement.