How does Mahathir propose to cut the RM100 billion a year cost?

If Pakatan Harapan takes over, again, what would Mahathir do to solve this problem and reduce the 1.6 million civil service and RM100 billion a year cost to, say, just 1-million strong and RM60 billion a year cost?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

(FMT) – Dr Mahathir Mohamad today asked MPs to reject any bill seeking additional funds for the government’s expenditure, saying these would only be used to support a bloated administration.

Mahathir was debating on the Supply (Reallocation of Appropriated Expenditure) Bill 2020, which is being read for the second time at the Dewan Rakyat.

The Langkawi MP said Malaysia was facing the Covid-19 pandemic and the government’s revenue had dropped as companies’ profits were lower.

He said the Perikatan Nasional government should work to reduce the deficit which he claimed the bill would inflate.

He said the government should also spend less when it has less revenue, adding that it should not have additional ministerial positions such as the special functions minister and representative to the Middle East. (READ MORE HERE)


Okay, that is the keyword: BLOATED ADMINISTRATION.

Indonesia’s population is 268 million and it has a civil service of 4.6 million, 500,000 of that in the police and military. That comes to 2% of the population.

Malaysia, on the other hand, has a civil service of 1.6 million in a population of 32 million. That comes to 5% of the population, or 2.5 times the size of Indonesia’s civil service in terms of per capita.

So, what Mahathir said is correct. Malaysia’s civil service is bloated. And the cost to pay the salaries, allowances, pensions, etc., comes to RM100 billion a year — which naturally increases every year (unless the government retrenches or sacks about 600,000 or so of the civil service).

Okay, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the Perikatan Nasional government has been in charge for just a few months since 1st March 2020. And they inherited this bloated administration. They did not create the problem. The problem developed over the past 63 years since Merdeka.

In the early years, out of every RM10 the government spent, RM1 went to cost and RM9 to development. Today, out of every RM10 the government spends, RM9 goes to cost and RM1 to development. This is what the Malays call mahal tali dari lembu.

What Mahathir says is true: it costs too much to run Malaysia. So, what is Mahathir proposing? How does the government reduce the cost? Does the government retrench 600,000 of the civil service?

First of all, maybe Muhyiddin can abolish the Cabinet, which appears to be what Mahathir is saying. Then each ministry or government department reports directly to Muhyiddin. The Secretary-General of each government agency can send their weekly reports to the Prime Minister.

Then ministries or departments can be merged to reduce staffing and overlapping functions. We do not need Youth, Sports, Culture, Tourism, etc. Can get rid of all that. Welfare, Health, Women’s Affairs, Family Planning, etc., can be one. Industries, Trade, Commodities, Natural Resources, Forest, Palm Oil, etc., can be one. Finance, Economy, and all financial related services can be one. Defence, Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs, etc., can be grouped under one. And so on.

This exercise would reduce the government ministries and departments to less than half what it currently is and the objective would be to abolish the cabinet and get rid of at least 600,000 civil servants and staff with an aim to reduce the RM100 billion a year cost for salaries, allowances and pensions.

Another heavy cost are the wakil rakyat. Currently, Malaysia has 222 members of parliament and 600 ADUNs (state assemblypersons) in the state assemblies. Maybe the state assemblies can be abolished and there would be no need for 600 ADUNs (like in the UK, which does not have state assemblies).

If we follow the UK Westminster system, then we will also not need MBs and Chief Ministers because we do not need to run the states — we just run the towns and cities through the local or city councils.

But why did Mahathir not do this when he was PM4 for 22 years or PM7 for 22 months? Mahathir could have reduced the size of the 1.6 million civil service and the RM100 billion a year cost before Muhyiddin Yassin and Perikatan Nasional took over on 1st March 2020.

This was never an issue before. Why is it an issue now? Is it because Pakatan Harapan is no longer in power?  If Pakatan Harapan was still the government would it be an issue?

If Pakatan Harapan takes over, again, what would Mahathir do to solve this problem and reduce the 1.6 million civil service and RM100 billion a year cost to, say, just 1-million strong and RM60 billion a year cost?