Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad issued a warning to corrupt civil servants, saying that he would “shoot them, like in China, but I can’t”.
The 93-year-old told civil servants at a town hall on Wednesday (August 15) jokingly that his cabinet was the only thing stopping him from taking these measures.
He said that though he was indeed kidding, no pity or consideration will be shown to corrupt officials, The Malaysian Insight reported.
Pakatan Harapan ministers and post-holders have been warned that if they were caught for corruption, they would be removed from office, he added.
He warned against the dangers of corruption, saying: “When corruption becomes part of the people, there will be no medicine to cure it, because the authorities who are supposed to look into it are also corrupt. And the cost of things goes up.”
According to Free Malaysia Today, Dr Mahathir pointed to Japan, where people have committed suicide due to being ashamed of their actions, and contrasted it to the attitude in Malaysia, where “when you say that you are a thief, they just smile”.
Along with several cabinet ministers, Dr Mahathir talked about how rules and laws were not enough to dissuade the worse parts of human nature.
“I talk about value of life because it determines our character, whether we succeed and fail. What is value of life? Being clean, skillful and being trustworthy. Trustworthiness means not to take what is not yours”, he said.