Malaysia’s Civil Servants Should ‘Hold Fort’ In Scandal-Ridden Government

By on 13/08/2015 | Updated on 25/09/2020

Former Malaysian trade minister Rafidah Aziz has called on the country’s civil service to “hold the fort” when politicians “seem to be losing it.”

Writing on her Facebook page yesterday, Rafidah said that her “worst fears had been confirmed” when a scandal over alleged state corruption triggered a political crisis for the country’s prime minister Najib Razak.

Referring to the scandal as a “fiasco”, Rafidah said: “May I urge all levels of government to please get on with the governance of the country.

“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.”

Rafidah, a member of the Malaysian parliament, became Malaysia’s longest-serving minister of international trade and industry, having served in that capacity from 1987 to 2008.

She said Malaysia was facing many challenges at the moment and added: “Do not allow anyone to perceive it as being rudderless.”

Her comments come days after Najib called on civil servants to “restore and improve the people’s confidence” in the government which was suffering a “trust deficit.”

His appeal came just weeks after allegations surfaced that more than $600m linked to indebted state development fund 1MDB was transferred to a bank account in Najib’s name.

The Malaysian premier has denied receiving money for personal gain and has denounced the claims against him as a political plot.

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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