Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad this Wednesday announced a 10- percent pay cut for ministers in his cabinet, in a bid to control spending as the new government deals with high-level debt which exceeded one trillion ringgit (251.5 billion U.S. dollars).
The 92-year-old made the announcement at the first cabinet meeting which was attended by more than a dozen of the newly sworn-in ministers. “We are concerned about the country’s financial problem,” Mahathir told reporters after the meeting.
The newly-installed Malaysian Cabinet has agreed to take a 10 percent cut in ministers’ salaries as part of efforts to curb government expenditure, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said this Wednesday (May 23).
“We are concerned about the country’s financial problems. We find that ministers’ salaries are lower than high-ranking civil servants. (But) we will reduce ministers’ salaries by 10 per cent,” Dr Mahathir told a news conference after chairing his first weekly Cabinet meeting since becoming premier for the second time in his career.
Mahathir said he will not force other senior civil servants to follow suit, but he said they can do so if they want to contribute towards reducing the cost of the running this country.
Since taking power after the election victory, Mahathir has been focusing on implementing the commitments promised during the campaign, including abolishing the six-per cent goods and services taxes, which the rating firm Moody’s said could narrow the country’s tax base and strain fiscal strength.