Minister claims civil service made Ananda Krishnan, Lim Goh Tong billionaires

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim told Parliament that the number of civil servants hauled up for issues raised by the A-G was miniscule compared to the total body of government staff of 1.5 million. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim told Parliament that the number of civil servants hauled up for issues raised by the A-G was miniscule compared to the total body of government staff of 1.5 million. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 ― A senior minister today played down the Auditor-General's findings of impropriety in the civil service, instead crediting their work with helping to “create billionaires” such as T. Ananda Krishnan and the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim told Parliament that the number of civil servants hauled up for issues raised by the A-G was miniscule compared to the total body of government staff of 1.5 million.

“I must thank and congratulate them (civil service) for their efforts to develop the country, and create billionaires such as Ananda Krishnan, Lim Goh Tong and others,” he said during question time.

From overpriced screwdrivers to a police officer losing his issued pistol in a toilet, the A-G’s annual report on government finances has left Putrajaya red-faced on numerous counts over the years.

Amid mounting public outrage, the federal government has since made it a practice to allow the bipartisan parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to investigate departments and agencies that have been found wanting by the A-G.

Shahidan today said the federal government has not neglected its responsibility in acting against civil servants found to be involved in any impropriety identified by the A-G, with a total of 225 cases opened based on the findings of the 2012 and 2013 reports.

Of that figure, Putrajaya has found 81 civil servants guilty of various offences and have meted penalties that range from a freeze on promotions and salaries to sacking, while the remaining 124 staff are still facing disciplinary proceedings.

“This corrective effort will help improve on the efficiency of the civil service,” he said.