Reduce State Expenditures, Malaysian Minister Salaries Cut by 10 Percent

KUALA LUMPUR -The new Malaysian government cabinet member agreed to cut 10 percent of the minister’s salary so that it could reduce state spending. Thus the statement of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday (23/05/2018), as reported by the Straits Times. “We are focusing on the state’s finances and we find ministers’ salaries lower than high-ranking civil servants, but we will cut the minister’s salary by 10 percent,” he said. The decision was taken along with the release of data on Malaysian debt that touched 1 trillion ringgit or about Rp 3,500 trillion.

The debt accounts for about 65 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Earlier, former minister Najib Razak said Malaysia’s debt under his rule was still below the 55 percent limit of GDP. “Our debt reaches 1 trillion ringgit We have to find a way to reduce it,” Mahathir said. “When I became prime minister in 1981, the first thing I did was cut the salaries of ministers and senior civil servants,” he said. Regarding the salaries of senior civil servants, Mahathir leaves the decision to them, whether to participate in reducing the state budget or not. Mahathir added that some projects from previous administrations are likely to be removed. The Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed train project is still waiting for the next decision.

Since he started working as prime minister, Mahathir undertook a number of policy reforms, such as announcing that goods and services tax (GST) was eliminated from June 1, 2018. Instead, the government will reinstate sales and service tax (SST). Mahathir also promised to reinstate fuel subsidies to reduce the cost of living.

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