Don’t fear politicians, says MACC chief

Shukri Abdull

Here is a plea our ministers and civil servants should not take lightly: stop issuing support letters and stop being yes men.

Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Seri Shukri Abdull says politicians and government department heads must carry out their duties in line with laws and procedures.

He adds politicians, especially ministers, must stop the practice of issuing support letters as it places civil servants in a fix.

“If they do not take the support letter into account, it may seem like they are not adhering to instructions from ministers. But if they accept the support letters, they could land in trouble,” said Shukri, who was appointed MACC chief last month.

“I want to advise ministers to stop this practice as you are putting civil servants at risk.”

He urged civil servants to be more responsible and stop the habit of “blindly” signing documents on the pretext they are merely carrying out their jobs.

“Don’t sign off as saya yang menurut perintah. Please don’t do it on my watch,” he told Twentytwo13.

Shukri warned the commission would not compromise on wrongdoings.

“Department heads should give the right advice and not be yes men. If they (politicians) are not doing something right, advise them.

“Ministers and their deputies may receive advice from senior government officers, but if they are wrong, they should be corrected. If you have to say no, then say no.”

It is not uncommon for politicians to issue recommendation letters to those seeking government approvals to secure a project.

The practice came under the spotlight following allegations Bersatu youth leader Mohd Noorhisyam Abdul Karim misused a support letter issued for the allocation of Ramadan bazaar lots by Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun.

Mohd Noorhisyam had allegedly secured 80 stalls in Jalan Masjid India in Kuala Lumpur from City Hall and rented each lot for RM5,000.

City Hall’s licencing department director Anwar Mohd Zain was quoted by a local daily as saying City Hall was forced to approve Mohd Noorhisyam’s application after receiving Fong’s recommendation letter.