Cabinet ministers should agree to have their salaries and allowances reduced along with other spending cuts announced by Putrajaya, economist Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid suggested today.
According to the former Khazanah Research Institute director of research, the move would be a symbolic gesture of solidarity with “the pain” felt by the public due to the weak economy and rising cost of living.
“Most of the [spending] has been cut. The only thing we have not seen, is the cut for the salaries for ministers
“You should, it’s symbolic. You feel the pain, you share the pain,” Muhammed told a forum on Budget 2017 by think-tank Research for Social Advancement (Refsa) here.
Earlier, deputy president of the Malaysian Economic Association Datuk Latifah Merican Choong related her experience dealing with the global recession in the 1980s caused by the commodities sector.
According to Latifah, who had then been the assistant governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, the federal government had undertaken salary cuts for both ministers and civil servants in order to reduce its operating expenditure.
“I think not many people remember this. In fact, it was done twice, these salary cuts,” said Latifah, who is also an independent director of an investment bank.