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KUALA LUMPUR: Academicians have described Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s call for Cabinet ministers not to waste government money on unnecessary expenses as a positive move to begin his premiership.

They said this reflected the prime minister’s concern with the country’s economic and financial situation.

Universiti Putra Malaysia Centre for Co-Curriculum and Student Development deputy director Noor Mohamad Shakil Hameed said the approach would bring a positive impact on the country’s financial situation if it could be implemented consistently.

The expert in public administration and observer of current issues said that every ministry and government agency also needs to re-evaluate their expenditure planning, especially their budget for 2023, by taking into account the economic crisis expected to occur next year.

“Take the opportunity to review all 2023 expenditure plans, especially those involving large procurements or large-scale projects, to determine if they really need to be implemented at this point or can be postponed until the economy recovers.

“In addition, entertainment expenses for large-scale events or launching ceremonies which often involve a huge cost should be controlled or reduced,” he told Bernama when contacted.

Meanwhile, lecturer in the Department of History, Faculty of Human Sciences, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Prof Dr Ishak Saat said the cost-saving measure was timely in preparation to face the global economic slowdown in 2023.

“The call to save money should be welcomed not only by the Cabinet but also by government departments and agencies so that we can address the inflation issue and economic downturn. Furthermore, the government ‘inherited’ a significant amount of national debt.

“The Cabinet meeting tomorrow is also expected to discuss pay cut of all ministers. I hope the ministers will accept this suggestion to show the people that they are working sincerely and not for their own benefit,” he said.

Sharing the same sentiment was senior political lecturer from Universiti Malaya, Dr Mohammad Tawfik Yaakub, who opined that the cost-cutting measure was justified in the effort to reduce the government’s financial burden and channelling the fund to other essential needs.

Mohammad Tawfik said among the measures that should be taken is reducing political appointments such as special officers or political secretaries and using first-class facilities based on necessity.

On Dec 2, Anwar said the Cabinet ministers in the Unity Government need to avoid wastage and focus on implementing initiatives that can reduce the people’s burden.

Tomorrow, the prime minister is expected to chair his first Cabinet meeting to discuss several new regulations with a focus on restoring the economy. – Bernama

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