UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI)—“If I ask you to murder someone, will you do it?”

This is the question of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to thousands of civil servants last week.

The prime minister told 3,500 Administrative and Diplomatic Service (PTD) officers on Aug. 15 not to blindly follow directives “from the top” if these are unlawful.

He said PTD officers and those in the armed forces and the police should be loyal to the government but they must be bound by the scope of the law and policies provided.

Mahathir said, “When something is blatantly wrong, you should not do it.”

Mahathir also vowed to help civil servants who were penalized for refusing to follow unlawful directives from the previous administration.

He promised to review the cases and said, “The government will restore them to their previous position or pay what is owed to them.”