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'Walking the talk’: Minister turns down smartphone, citing no-gift policy

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Transport Minister Anthony Loke underlined the seriousness of the government’s no-gift policy today by “walking the talk” and turning down a smartphone.

Offered a Huawei Nova 3i smartphone as a token of appreciation for launching e-hailing application Diffride, he immediately declined the gift.

“I can’t accept this, it is more than RM500, “ he said, returning the phone to the organisers.

The phone retails for RM1,249, according to online shopping website Lazada.

At a later press conference, Loke reminded the event organisers of the Harapan government’s policy on gifts for public servants.

“We walk the talk, in the sense that just now at the end of the (appreciation) ceremony I was given a token of appreciation, but I just want to stress, we do not need such appreciation in the future. 

"The new government, all the ministers, we walk the talk. 

“Just a word to all future event organisers, please take note that this is a new regulation by the government,” he stressed.

In June, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that the government will be enforcing a no-gift policy – with the exception of flowers, fruits and food – throughout the civil service.

"It cannot be anything more than that. We will reject any cars or anything of that sort, all of those are not allowed.

"Not only the receiver is wrong, the one who is giving is also wrong," Mahathir had said.

In his 100-day public address last Friday, Mahathir said the government was in the midst of drafting a stricter policy pertaining to gifts and donations to civil servants.

"The government has decided to improve the mechanism pertaining to the acceptance of gifts, entertainment and payment by members of the administration.

“The definition of members of the administration is expanded to also include the prime minister and deputy prime minister. They also have to report the acceptance of gifts, entertainment and payment," he had said.

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