Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim today said that civil servants should criticise actions by the government which are found to be in violation of the law.
Speaking at a monthly meeting with the staff of the Prime Minister's Department in Putrajaya, Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said he should not be spared in this regard.
"My emphasis is on enforcement. What I learnt, especially at the finance ministry – there are many questionable files.
"To blame the officers... if there’s a 'minute' from the minister or the prime minister, the officer has to comply with, but I have given clear instructions that if there is a 'minute', even from the prime minister himself, if there is a violation of the law, I have to be informed first," he said.
Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Fadillah Yusof, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah, Sarawak and Special Functions) Armizan Mohd Ali, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Mohd Na'im Mokhtar and Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali.
Meanwhile, Anwar said the posts of senior private secretary and principal senior private secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, Deputy Prime Minister’s Office and the Cabinet ministers’ offices should be filled by administrative and diplomatic Officers (PTD).
"This is to ensure coordination, (but) it will only work if there is full cooperation from colleagues," he said, thanking civil servants for their enthusiasm and response to his criticism.
The prime minister said the country will not progress if there is too much leakage in the administration.
"As I have mentioned, contracts with commissions that are too high or unreasonable prices... I am not pointing fingers at anyone. It's a fact. You cannot succeed as a nation if there are so many leaks," he added.
On the retreat for Cabinet members at the Seri Perdana Complex yesterday, which was also attended by several department heads, Anwar said it was to bolster consensus and solidarity between the national executive leaders and civil servants.
He said a similar retreat would be held with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the attorney-general.