26 September 2023

MALAYSIA: No PS pay rise — ‘poor come first’

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The Malaysian Government has not proposed pay rises for Public Servants in its 2023 Budget as this could lead to a large Budget deficit, according to Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim.

Mr Anwar, who is also Minister of Finance, said a high budget deficit could dampen investors’ confidence in the country.

“Our problem now is we have debt of RM1.5 trillion ($A500 billion) with a current deficit of 5.6 per cent,” Mr Anwar said.

“If we increase salaries, our Budget deficit may rise to 6.5 per cent and no one will come and invest in our country because they will have no confidence that we have a strong political will to manage the country well.”

However, President of Malaysia’s main public sector union, the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs), Adnan Mat (pictured) said the Government had shown no commitment to re-evaluating the new Public Service remuneration system in order to increase salaries in the Budget.

Mr Anwar urged Cuepacs to be patient, saying the Government’s priority now was to help the poorer groups.

“Just be patient for a while. Is it not important to try to help the hard-core poor who suffer more that the regular workers?” the Prime Minister asked.

“Life is also hard for the padi farmers, fishermen and the hard-core poor… they are also struggling to make ends meet.”

Kuala Lumpur, 1 March 2023

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