PETALING JAYA: Civil servants and government officers who carry out their duties accordingly have nothing to fear from VIPs as the government will back them up.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke (pic) said that under the Pakatan Harapan administration, government officers and staff must be brave and stern in enforcing their responsibilities.
"When our officers carry out their duties accordingly and as required, and if they face any problems, the ministers would back them up.
"That is the message I want to send to all government and agency officers who are in the frontline, as they are faced with challenges daily," he added.
Loke expressed concern that some officers are worried when they notice VIPs are scheduled in their roster and have to face them.
"Do not worry. Follow the procedures and rules. If they are doing things right, the minister will back them up," he said, adding that everyone has to abide by the rules.
"Even I, the Transport Minister, have to adhere by these rules... there are no exceptions," he told reporters at a press conference after attending a government agency briefing with the Temiang District village community management council in Seremban on Sunday (Nov 18).
The Star managed to obtain a voice recording of the press conference.
Loke was believed to be referring to the incident where Senate president Tan Sri S.A. Vigneswaran had allegedly violated security protocol while using the VIP Lounge at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Saturday (Nov 17).
Vigneswaran, who was wearing a red collared shirt, long pants and sandals, did not stop and went downstairs into the VIP lobby area before heading to the departure gate.
Loke had urged the MIC president to apologise for the incident, but Vigneswaran had instead complained that the minister had brought the matter up as "cheap publicity".
Loke noted that it was Vigneswaran's prerogative if he wanted to apologise or not.
"It is up to him, that is his prerogative whether he wants to apologise or not," he said.
He also advised Vigneswaran to be "humble and apologise to those affected" by the incident.
"It is okay to say sorry. If it was me, I would say sorry. It will not lower our dignity (martabat)," he added.
Loke said that the airport management had lodged a police report over the incident on Saturday (Nov 17) night, and would let the police decide if any investigation would be carried out.
"I don't want to comment on this further, and I'm not seeking publicity from this matter.
"I do not need the publicity, I have press conferences daily on various issues and various programmes carried out by the ministry," he said.
Loke noted that there were incidents like this that happened before his time, but not many people took notice of it.