Malaysia PM bans ministers from accepting gifts

So far, only civil servants in the country were barred from accepting gifts but Mahatir's latest policy promises to take on corruption in higher political circles as well.

Malaysia PM bans ministers from accepting gifts
File photo of Mahathir Mohamad (Reuters)

Looking to crack down on corruption within different ministries in his government, the Malaysian Prime Minister introduced a 'No-Gift' policy for ministers in the country on Friday.

Mahathir Mohamad, who took oath as PM of Malaysia on May 10 after defecting from Najib Razak's party that had been in power for six decades, had vowed to establish a clean government and has said that forbidding his ministers from accepting gifts is the first of many steps towards this objective. Mahatir had previously accused the Razak government of corruption and many feel it is his promise of corruption-free governance that helped his four-party Pakatan Harapan alliance win the elections. "If there are gifts, they should only be limited to flowers, food and fruits," he said at a press conference, according to news agency Xinhua.

So far, only civil servants in the country were barred from accepting gifts but Mahatir's latest policy promises to take on corruption in higher political circles as well. He has reportedly directed his ministers to declare their assets and has said the country's anti-corruption authorities will keep a tight check.

Mahatir had previously also said that his governance would not be about revenge despite all the maladies of his predecessor. Many though suspect he might use relevant agencies to probe charges of corruption against the previous government.

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