53 Government Measures To Cut Costs

53 Government Measures To Cut Costs

The Malaysian Government has introduced 53 wide-ranging measures to optimise public expenditure amid current economic challenges.

The circular, which came into effect on March 1, 2016, include the following measures:

  • All agencies to reduce the number of uniforms issued to officers from three sets per year to two.
  • A freeze on hiring new staff. Creation of new positions is not allowed except in critical areas by redeploying existing staff or using a “trade off” method. Vacant positions not filled for more than two years will be abolished.
  • Stricter controls on overtime. Prior written approval by the employee’s boss is now required.
  • A minimum 30% cut in spending on all government-organised events.
  • A 10% cut in entertainment allowances for ministers and deputy ministers that was introduced on January 1, 2014 is maintained in the circular.
  • Ministers, deputy ministers, ministry secretary-generals and approved department heads can only bring one officer with them on overseas working visits to countries where Malaysia has a mission office.
  • In countries with no Malaysian mission, no more than two officers can be brought along.
  • When travelling, civil servants will be allowed to buy their flight tickets and book their own hotel rooms to get the cheapest rates.
  • Ministries to limit their number of events, conferences, seminars and workshops to cut costs.

The full list of measures are listed in a Treasury Circular titled “Guidelines on Measures to Optimise Government Spending.” It can be accessed online at the Finance Ministry’s website.

The circular ordered all ministry secretaries-general, department heads, heads of statutory bodies, chief executives of companies limited by guarantee and other agency heads who receive allocations from the Government to carry out all the measures outlined.

“Regional and global economic developments have affected the financial position of the Government, as revenue collection has been impacted.

“To ensure that fiscal targets which have been set are met, measures to optimise government spending is to be implemented across the board so resources can be managed more efficiently and effectively,” the circular said.


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