Regional Outlook, Global Perspective

MAHATIR ON A DRIVE TO CUT GOVERNMENT SPENDING

The newly-installed Malaysian Cabinet has agreed to take a 10 per cent cut in ministers’ salaries as part of efforts to curb government expenditure, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Wednesday. Thousands of government workers in Malaysia will lose their jobs, state agencies dissolved and some projects could be aborted as the new prime minister moves to cut the national debt of 1 trillion ringgit (US$251 billion).  Mahathir said the national debt of Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy was 65% of GDP, and earlier this week blamed abuses by the previous government, led by the ousted premier Najib Razak, for the ballooning figure.

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