News in Brief: Nov 28 – Dec 2

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim addressing the staff of the Prime Minister’s Department.

PUTRAJAYA: Civil servants were urged by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to work with the government leadership to bring about change to bring back the country to its glorious days. In his first meeting with the staff of the Prime Minister’s Department on Nov 29, Anwar said civil servants need to bring the spirit of “islah” (bringing back a situation to a correct, accurate and appropriate state) for the sake of the country.

“Leaders come and go, but civil servants remain in upholding the system and rules of the country,” he said, adding that based on his experience as finance minister, he would not have succeeded without the help of the civil service.

He also called on his soon-to-be-appointed Cabinet members to forge good working relations with civil servants.  “Listen to their views … our intelligence, our tenacity, our interest will not be the same as their (civil servants) experience.”

Anwar also praised the commitment of civil servants as reflected at the special meeting of the National Action Council on Cost of Living last Sunday. “They all came fully prepared. I was very happy, there was full attendance. We need to develop this and not allow for some circles to damage the image and strength of civil servants,” he added.

PUTRAJAYA: The Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah was in Malaysia on Nov 28, becoming the first foreign leader to meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after Anwar’s appointment as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia on Nov 24.

Sultan Hassanal held a bilateral meeting with Anwar Ibrahim to review the progress of cooperation between Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam as well as to explore the potential for enhancing bilateral relationship and cooperation for their mutual benefit.

Anwar and Sultan Hassanal spent almost an hour at the meeting.

KUALA LUMPUR: The United Nations Development Programme announced the extension of its funding support for the Malaysian government backed Improving Connectivity in The Central Forest Spine (IC-CFS) project. Speaking to Weekly Echo at the sidelines of a showcase programme for the IC-CFS on Nov 29, the project manager of IC-CFS, Dr. Samsudin Musa said the extension of assistance from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) will be a huge boost for the efforts taken towards reaching the goals of the project, which is to establish and protect a contiguous Central Forest Spine through the integration of forest reserves for biodiversity conservation, limit and control unsustainable urban and agriculture expansion and enhance the tourism potential of highlands.