Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad addresses the media at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya. Pic by MOHD FADLI HAMZAH

PUTRAJAYA: The government will terminate the contracts of some 17,000 political appointees who served under the previous administration, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

Dr Mahathir said this excluded contract staff who worked as drivers and in other areas, adding that the government would first review their status.

"We will find other places for them to work based on their qualifications.

"We need to sort this out," the prime minister said, adding that the decision to discontinue the contracts of these political appointees in the civil sector would help reduce government expenditure and wastage.

On whether civil servants would be laid off, Dr Mahathir said senior officers who were suspected of wrongdoing would be asked to go on leave.

"It depends on the particular actions we can take to remove them from being a part of the government," said Dr Mahathir.

On the appointment of a new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner, Dr Mahathir said the appointment would require the consent from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad reported for duty at the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) on Tuesday after he submitted a letter to end his contract as MACC chief commissioner on Monday.

On the fate Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Hashim Abdullah, the prime minister said if he had done anything wrong, due process would take place punish wrongdoers.

Dr Mahathir was asked to comment on his previous statement, in which he claimed that the EC chairman had purposely delayed the 14th general election (GE14) results.

"Yes. But even though I said that, I cannot grab hold of him and throw him into jail. That is not proper."

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