Malaysia's cost-cutting measures start tomorrow

Malaysia's cost-cutting measures start tomorrow

PETALING JAYA - In a move to walk the talk about prudent spending, the Government will enforce 11 cost-cutting measures for the public sector starting tomorrow.

The measures range from cutting entertainment and toll allowances of ministers and deputy ministers to reducing the supply of food and drinks at official functions.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in a statement that the decision to introduce the measures followed discussions with his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa.

"Other thrift measures for the public sector will be announced from time to time based on needs and the prevailing situation," Najib said.

The measures come in the wake of rising public concern over a spate of price increases, including a hike in electricity tariff, effective tomorrow.

Senior government officials will bear the brunt of many of the cuts.

The entertainment allowance of officers on the Public Sector Superscale (Jawatan Utama Sektor Awam or Jusa) in category C and above will be cut by between 5 per cent and 10 per cent. Civil servants on the Superscale are senior government officials such as department heads.

The toll payment facility for civil servants in the Jusa C category and above will also be reduced by between RM50 and RM100.

All government premises need to reduce their electricity bills by 5 per cent. Renovations of such premises are now frozen, while the process of appointing consultants for government projects will be tightened.

There is to be less use of event management companies and door gifts. More senior civil servants will have to use economy class flights.

The last time the Government implemented cost-cutting measures was during the 1997 economic downturn.

The measures announced in December that year included a 10 per cent cut in salaries of ministers, an 18 per cent reduction in government spending and the postponement of several public sector investment projects.

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