Putrajaya bans gifts for ministers, deputies, and pol-secs

Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed speaks during a press conference at the Perdana Putra Complex in Putrajaya June 8, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed speaks during a press conference at the Perdana Putra Complex in Putrajaya June 8, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

PUTRAJAYA, June 8 — The Pakatan Harapan government has announced that the “no-gift” policy will be extended to include ministers and their support staff.

Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) head Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed told a press conference today the policy now only applies to the civil service and not elected representatives and their officers.

“In our meeting today we have decided on a no-gift and no-donation policy for members of the public administration and their political officers. This involves Cabinet members, deputy ministers and all the way down to their various political secretaries.

“Currently, this policy on focus on the civil service,” said Abu Kassim, who was accompanied by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

After Abu Kassim finished addressing the press, Dr Mahathir quipped that he may no longer receive any gifts and must follow the former’s instructions, drawing laughter.

He added the only gifts he is allowed to receive are flowers, food and fruits.

“If gifts are given out we will find both the recipient and the giver to be guilty,” said Dr Mahathir.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir, some members of his Cabinet and Abu Kassim attended the first Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption meeting.

Among issues raised during the meeting include instances of deviation from contract awards.

“We found an officer who held up to 68 positions in multiple companies. This is something that must be reduced. By necessity, it shouldn’t be more than five (positions). In fact, civil servants are discouraged to hold two to three roles like this. By right, they should only hold one post.

“However, there are times when this becomes unavoidable because some government officers must hold positions in government linked companies,” said Dr Mahathir.

Other items discussed in the meeting include asset declaration for ministers, deputy ministers and their respective political secretaries as well as the drafting of a new law on political funding.

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