25 September 2023

MALAYSIA: ‘Bloated’ PS to be privatised

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Privatisation of parts of Malaysia’s “bloated” public sector is under active consideration, according to Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pictured).

He said the Public Service was 1.7 million strong, compared with one million in 2003, and this was a drain on the Government’s resources.

“The size of the Civil Service has grown too big and become worrisome for a very long time as it continues to increase the Government’s financial burden and, at the same time, reduces the allocation for development purposes,” Dr Mahathir said.

Citing the example of Telekom Malaysia (TM), which was corporatised in 1987, he said privatisation would save the jobs of PS staff.

“TM’s employees were transferred to a private company, reducing the number working in the public sector,” Dr Mahathir said.

He said at the same time, the employees received better salary packages.

“We believe this strategy is still relevant to address the issue of the size of the Civil Service, which is seen to have huge financial implications and is a burden,” Dr Mahathir said.

The Prime Minister said if the situation was not controlled, the high costs would continue to take a big chunk from the country’s Budget each year and would slow economic growth.

Dr Mahathir blamed the previous Government for the increased expenditure as it raised Public Service salaries in an effort to buy loyalty.

He said the Public Service’s productivity could be improved by reducing duplication, wastage and distributing resources more efficiently through the use of technology.

“The Government will ensure that those affected will be given working opportunities in other economic sectors before opting to reduce the size of the Civil Service,” Dr Mahathir said.

Kuala Lumpur, 15 March 2019

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