Malaysian civil servants ordered to use prime minister’s birth name in formal documents

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Photo: Muhyiddin Yassin/Facebook
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Photo: Muhyiddin Yassin/Facebook

Malaysian civil servants have been ordered to use the prime minister’s original name, Mahiaddin Md Yasin, when referring to him in formal documents, according to a circular dated June 3.

The internal document had contained an order by the government’s chief secretary Mohd Zuki Ali, telling civil servants to replace the prime minister’s adopted name, Muhyiddin Yassin, with either Mahiaddin Md Yasin or Tan Sri Dato Haji Mahiaddin Md Yasin when including his name in formal documents. Civil servants were expected to adapt to the change immediately. 

The circular did not indicate a reason for this, but it did come more than a month after the high court revoked a preventive detention order by the prime minister in April that was signed using his unofficial name. Muhyiddin had signed detention orders under the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 at the time. 

The court had ruled that under the Ministerial Functions Act 1969, the prime minister must use his gazetted name of Mahiaddin Md Yasin as that was the name stated in his identity card.

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