“Sorry for ‘civil servants a burden’ remark,” Gerakan sec-gen tells Malaysians

GERAKAN has extended an apology to all Malaysians following a statement aimed at the country’s civil servants which was recently made by one of its grassroot leaders.

Gerakan secretary-general Mah Kah Keong said the party does not agree with the comments made by Penang Gerakan spokesperson Mok Kok On and insisted that civil servants are the backbone of the country and not a burden as stated.

According to Mah, the entire party, including PAS and Bersatu, did not agree with the statement Mok made on a Facebook post which has since been deleted.

“Nevertheless, he is a Gerakan member and in the spirit of unity, I would like to apologise to all Malaysians, especially civil servants,” Mah was reported as saying at a press conference today (June 22).

“Civil servants do provide good services and our daily activities are closely related to them. I have four children and all were born in government hospitals and facilities are provided for them.

“Now, the school they go to is also administered by civil servants. This does not include the authorities, police, firefighters and so on, all closely related to civil servants.”

Earlier this week, Mok posted a statement on Facebook expressing his concerns about the country’s civil service.

“Civil servants are a burden to the country. Additionally, our foreign debts are mounting while our reserves are dwindling. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s government must view this fact with clarity,” wrote Mok.

DAP lawmaker Syahredzan Johan has since slammed Mok for his disparaging statement said Mok must apologise for his comments.

“There are many civil servants in Bangi, therefore as the MP for Bangi, I object to Mok’s statement which is not helpful and only serves to hurt the feelings of civil servants,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, Mah also advised those wishing to criticise the government to always do so in a thoughtful and factual manner.

“Don’t make blanket comments that would offend everybody. We understand that Mok is concerned about the increase in the number of civil servants … but when making a statement, we must practise caution and be mindful of certain sensitivities,” he asserted.

“I would also like to use this opportunity to apologise to Perikatan Nasional (PN) who has also been affected by the statement. The statement was initiated by one of ours but it was made to sound as if it was PN who was condemning public servants.

“All this time, PN has given positive and constructive criticism, and together with Gerakan and had stood with Gerakan in dealing with this matter as well.”

Mah said Mok had been issued a warning and will now have to face the party’s disciplinary board.

“In terms of actions, the party’s disciplinary board will follow proper procedures. He is entitled to speak his mind.

“I’ve also given him a firm warning that none of this will happen again.

“The party is very concerned about this issue, and if he does not provide a reasonable explanation, we will suspend his membership,” Mah added. – June 22, 2023

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