IPOH • There are civil servants in Malaysia who want the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to fall because they are no longer getting corrupt money, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday.
He said these civil servants felt the previous administration was far better because they could at that time earn extra income on top of their monthly salary.
He said that despite corruption being "haram" (forbidden in Islam), a fraction of the civil service had no problems with it.
"When Pakatan Harapan took over the government, and the aim of the coalition is to eradicate corruption, some in the service are not happy," Tun Dr Mahathir said.
"Thus, they prefer for the old government to take over the country, so that they will continue receiving money."
Dr Mahathir was speaking during a townhall session with civil servants in Perak.
Malaysia has some 1.6 million civil servants, with those in the army and police counted as government workers unlike in developed countries. The vast majority are Malays.
CHANGE OF GUARD
When Pakatan Harapan took over the government, and the aim of the coalition is to eradicate corruption, some in the service are not happy. Thus, they prefer for the old government to take over the country, so that they will continue receiving money.
MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER MAHATHIR MOHAMAD
The Prime Minister's speech is considered bold as it comes at a time when the PH government is struggling to retain Malay voter support, with accusations by the Malay opposition parties that the Mahathir-led administration is weakening the rights of Malay and diluting the role of Islam, the country's official religion.
Last Saturday, several thousand Malay Muslims took to the streets in a peaceful protest to "defend the sovereignty of Islam" in Malaysia, where 60 per cent of its 31 million population are Muslim.
Dr Mahathir, in his speech, said that civil servants needed to say no to corruption, be loyal to the current government and implement policies approved for the betterment of the people and the country's development.
He said corruption could destroy the development of the country and delay efforts to achieve what had been planned, with the people being the main victims.
"As we are aware, those involved in corruption are already being brought to court, and probably they will be punished," he said, in a clear reference to former premier Najib Razak, former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, as well as several former Cabinet ministers and senior civil servants.
"We must remember that those who are involved in corruption, it is their children and grandchildren who suffer," Dr Mahathir added.
The Premier said the wealth of the country must be shared among all regardless of race or religion.
He also said the current government must be fair to all, and this would ensure that the country was peaceful without any pressure, riots or terrorism.
"If we don't practise sharing of wealth equally, this will cause uneasiness between one another, and this could lead to the country becoming chaotic," he said.
"That is why all our efforts in ensuring fair distribution of wealth and an administration free of corruption are a must," he added.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK