Don't collude with middlemen, Johor civil servants warned

NUSAJAYA, MALAYSIA - State government officers here have been warned not to collude with middlemen who are said to be charging fees to get civil servants to attend to the public.

State Secretary Datuk Ismail Karim, who issued the warning, said this call was also aimed at agency and department heads under the state government.

"We have received reports that middlemen have been operating for quite some time now. They also claim that they were well­ connected with heads of department and agencies," he said after announcing the appointments and reshuffle of 34 senior officers of the Johor civil service at the Datuk Jaafar Muhammad building in Kota Iskandar here yesterday.

Ismail said the middlemen had also been promising unsuspecting people that they could solve their problems swiftly or get contracts for "a fee", as the department heads would personally address their problems.

"We are closely watching their modus operandi and will not hesitate to detain them and hand them to the relevant authorities for misleading the public," he said.

Ismail also called on local council presidents to check on their subordinates as the state government had also received reports of middlemen operating at local councils.

He reiterated that the state government had never appointed individuals or companies to represent agencies and departments offering services on­ behalf of the state government.

"My advice to those who have dealings with us is to see our officers for clarification if they are approached by middlemen," he said.

Ismail hoped that Johor civil servants would provide efficient service and make Johor one of the most developed states in the country.

"We have the Iskandar Malaysia economic growth corridor and the multi­-billion ringgit oil and gas hub in Pengerang in Kota Tinggi. The two projects will be the main drivers of Johor's growth in years to come," added Ismail.

He said that with more domestic and foreign investors showing strong interest in the two projects, civil servants had to improve on their delivery system.