It would be impossible for the present administration under Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to eliminate all rogue elements within the civil service, believes veteran scribe Abdul Kadir Jasin.
At the same time, Kadir said in a blog post today that he believes Mahathir is fully aware that there are "traitorous" elements left behind from the previous BN administration under Najib Abdul Razak.
"We know who they are.
"We told them that what they did before this was wrong, and we advised them to be loyal and committed to work for the country and the people," said the former Council of Eminent Persons spokesperson.
Given the possible large numbers or civil servants involved, Kadir said they should be given a chance to turn over a new leaf, so long as their actions do not threaten national security or result in massive financial losses.
"What we don't want to do is to free a trapped dog, but once it is freed, it turns around to attack us.
"It would be worse if the dog we freed is a mad dog," he said, adding that there already appear to be such individuals who are “barking” on behalf of their old masters.
Meanwhile, Kadir also denied that the government is unaware that some of these rogue elements had previously colluded with BN against Harapan as then federal opposition.
"Although they are (now) still in service, and appear to be close to the prime minister and the government, but who they are and what exactly they have done during the reign of Najib, we know.
"They will not be forgiven so easily," cautioned Kadir.
"But in order to ensure smoothness of the country's administration and not to further damage the civil service, we have to be patient, gracious and wise to accept them.”
Kadir also said reforms of the civil service should be seen as just one small part of the government's larger institutional reform agenda.
"Those who are guilty must be punished whether through disciplinary action, or if their transgressions are criminal in nature, charged in court.
"But it is not easy to take disciplinary or legal action because of the (large) number of those involved and the various manners in which they had colluded with the previous BN government," he said
Kadir also cautioned the present lineup of ministers to avoid the trap of building their own "empires" and instead work towards relieving the people's burden.
"Enough with giving the prime minister a headache. Please work for the people," he said.
Since forming the federal administration, Harapan has introduced major reshuffles of government agencies, as well as pushed for the voluntary resignations of politically appointed holdouts from the Najib's administration