Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said such law would allow the government to take action against those who failed to undertake tasks and responsibilities entrusted on them based on the set processes and procedures. Pic by STR/FAIZ ANUAR

SHAH ALAM: The government has agreed to come up with a law to punish civil servants who take orders from politicians.

Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said such law would allow the government to take action against those who failed to undertake tasks and responsibilities entrusted on them based on the set processes and procedures.

He said such law would also ensure that government servants would be free to act professionally and responsibly.

"As government servants, they have to follow the law. They can't simply take orders from politicians. If something were to happen, who will be responsible?"

"That is why from the early stage, officers who are tasked to look at applications for example, must accept them based on merit and available sets of rules and processes.

"If the person is subservient (to politicians), then he or she has to be responsible." he said at the ‘Bicara Minda’ interview on the topic ‘The Economy: Well-being for All’ here.

He said as part of an effort to achieve this, the government has agreed to replace the phrase “saya yang menurut perintah” (“I who obey orders”) used in official government letters with the phrase “saya yang menjalankan amanah” (“I who carry out the trust”) recently.

It was reported that Public Service Department director-general Datuk Borhan Dolah had said that the move was in line with the government’s hopes that every civil servant would appreciate the fact that every order, assignment and responsibility is a trust that must be carried out as best as possible.

“In this context, ‘trust’ refers to the willingness and effort to undertake tasks and responsibilities which have been entrusted (on the person) within the limits of authority with diligence and sincerity to achieve the set objective,” he was quoted as saying in September.

The proposal for the change in the phrase was made by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during the Town Hall session with administrative and diplomatic officers at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre on Aug 15.

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