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Friday, August 19, 2022

Don’t use civil servants as ‘propaganda tools’, PM told


Ismail Sabri Yaakob with staff of the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya on Tuesday. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s call for civil servants to defend the government from allegations will lead to them being used as “propaganda tools” to boost Barisan Nasional’s (BN) image, says Pakatan Harapan (PH) Youth.

PH Youth said Ismail’s action is tantamount to abuse of power.

“Any attempt to use civil servants to defend the government must be strongly rejected,” it said in a statement.

“Civil servants should adhere to the principle of neutrality in ensuring that the delivery of government services is not affected, even if there is any change in leadership.”

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The statement was signed by PH and DAP Youth chief Dr Kelvin Yii, PKR Youth chief Adam Adli, Amanah Youth chief Hasbie Muda and Upko Youth chief Felix Joseph Saang.

It noted that after PH took over Putrajaya in May 2018, following its victory in the 14th general election (GE14), the Cabinet decided to ban civil servants from getting involved in politics to ensure that they remain neutral in all administrative affairs.

The former PH government also introduced regulations to prohibit top civil servants, as well as those in managerial and professional roles, from being involved in politics.

During a meeting with staff of the Prime Minister’s Department on Tuesday, Ismail said it would be apt for civil servants to defend the government against allegations that the government under his administration had failed.

On allegations that the police were linked to a network of fake social media accounts and pages that tried to boost support for the government and run down the opposition, PH Youth said Ismail’s message to the public servants only served to add credence to such claims.

It also urged the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to conduct an investigation into the allegations, stating that it would help restore the police’s integrity.

Earlier this month, Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, said it had removed 596 Facebook accounts, 180 pages, 11 groups and 72 Instagram accounts for violating its policy against “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”, alleging that they were linked to the police. - FMT

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