PETALING JAYA - The Government announced 11 cost-cutting measures for the public sector in line with its intention to practice of more prudent spending in 2014.
The measures, which range from cutting the entertainment and toll allowances of Ministers and Deputy Ministers to reducing the supply of food and drinks in the organising of all official government events will come into effect on Jan 1, the Prime Minister said in a statement on Monday.
"The measures are in line with the Government's intention to practise more prudent spending next year (2014)," Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in the statement.
Najib said the decision to undertake the measures was made after discussions with his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa.
"Other savings measures for the public sector will be announced from time to time based on needs and the current situation," Najib said.
The measures follow rising public concern over a spate of price increases including a hike in electricity tariffs, which also starts on Wednesday.
Senior government officials will bear the brunt of many of the cuts, with the entertainment allowances for Ministers and Deputy Ministers to be cut by 10 per cent.
The entertainment allowances for Public Sector Superscale officers in the Jawatan Utama Sektor Awam (Jusa) C category and above will be cut by between five to 10 per cent.
Public servants in the Superscale category are typically senior government officials such as secretary-generals of Ministries.
All government premises such as ministries, departments and agencies must also reduce their electricity bills by 5 per cent.
The toll payment facility for civil servants in the Jusa C category and above will be reduced by 30 per cent or by between RM50 (S$19.23) to RM100.
All new applications to renovate government premises such as ministries, departments and agencies will be frozen.
The process of appointing consultants for government projects including for conducting feasibility studies will be tightened.
All applications to appoint the consultants must first be submitted to the National Development Planning Committee chaired by the Chief Secretary to the Government for approval.
The government also instructed a reduction in the use of event management companies and door gifts at any public sector-organised function involving civil servants.
The conditions to qualify for paid domestic and international flights for civil servants will be changed.
For example, all civil servants in the Jusa C category and below will only qualify for economy class travel.
The provision of food and drinks will be cut for all official government functions including conventions, seminars, meetings, and workshops.
The use of buntings and banners to advertise any government function will also be reduced, while the use of existing government office spaces must also be optimised in order to reduce the government's office rental bills.
The government also instructed the National Blue Ocean Strategy to be applied by optimising the use of the 1Malaysia Training Centre and other facilities at government-owned training institutions to hold courses, seminars and workshops.