Civil servants must not get bound to the ruling party — Dr Mahathir

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MELAKA (June 10): Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today civil servants must be neutral in discharging their duty and not get themselves bound to the ruling party.

The Prime Minister said they must, however, understand that they have to abide by the actions and policies of the government led by the ruling party to ensure a smooth national administration.

“After the last general election, there has been a change in the federal and state governments. (Some) may find it strange having to serve those who have been in the opposition parties. Sometimes, it is difficult to switch our loyalty from the previous government to the present one.

“As we subscribe to the democratic system and the democratic system sometimes sees a change in government through elections, we have to bear in mind that the civil servants must free themselves from being bound to the ruling party,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said this in a keynote speech when addressing Melaka civil servants in Ayer Keroh here. Also present were Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari and state executive councillors.

Dr Mahathir said that besides freeing themselves from being bound to the ruling party and staying neutral, civil servants must equip themselves with the latest knowledge and skills to remain competitive.

This is important because the country is facing the 4th Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) involving automation technology such as the Internet of Things, Big Data, system integration and cloud computing which will directly change the work norms.

"The civil service is not exempted from this technology stream. Industry 4.0 will be the catalyst for the transformation of the Government Administrative System.

"As such, all government agencies must jointly ensure that civil servants are not left behind but are always up-to-date in terms of new skills through various initiatives such as upskilling and reskilling as outlined in the National Policy on Industry 4.0,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said he hoped that all civil servants will be aware that their work is something noble when done well and, on that premise, they must continue to work with excellence and reap benefits in the world and hereafter.