No more “extravagant” Cabinet salaries, appointments, says Anwar

PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is putting an end to the “extravagant” manner in which Cabinet members are paid and appointed to serve in government.

Speaking after chairing a special meeting of the National Action Council on Cost of Living (NACCOL), Anwar said doing so can be interpreted as a political reward, which he is not in favour of.

“(As a result of this), you have 70 ministers (in Cabinet as well as) special envoys and advisers,” Anwar said in a press conference this afternoon at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya.

“Of course, we can consider one or two cases where it’s absolutely necessary, but it should not be seen as rewarding political masters in order that they support you.

“I want them to support me based on my policies and my commitments to good governance, (my) anti-corruption drive and to resuscitate the economy, precisely that.”

For the record, former PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration saw the appointment of 70 ministers and deputy ministers. Comparatively, the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government only had 55 such members.

Anwar, who is also PH chief, added that he needs time to decide on his Cabinet, seeing as he leads a unity government comprising multiple political parties and coalitions – a first in Malaysian history.

“When do you suggest?” he asked back to the reporter in his usual witty fashion. “No, of course, it takes time. I have to discuss (this) with the coalition members.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim chairing the 2022 National Action Council on Cost of Living Special Meeting, which was attended by government departments and agencies to discuss cost of living issues affecting the people (Photo credit: Bernama)

Many meetings

“Within PH, there are three main parties and also UPKO, and then we have GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak); (I) had a very good meeting with (GPS chairman) Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari (Tun Openg) yesterday (Nov 26) in my house.

“Then I’ve got to speak to the BN (Barisan Nasional) representatives, and they have a working committee also to give some recommendations, and then I’ll be meeting this afternoon later, here, with GRS (Gabungan Rakyat Sabah), headed by Datuk (Seri) Hajiji (Noor), and then I’ve to discuss with Warisan.”

Anwar added: “It’s ongoing (discussions to form his Cabinet) but I think in the next few days, God-willing, we’ll be able to come up with this recommendation (of who should be part of his Cabinet).”

The PKR president reiterated that now he has been appointed as PM, “the entire team” must be appointed as well so “we can start work” and the “country can function”.

Meanwhile, Anwar expressed his thanks to the civil servants who attended today’s special meeting of the NACCOL, which was convened at the 11th hour.

“It’s quite extraordinary because I only suggested to the Tan Sri KSN (Chief secretary to the government Mohd Zuki Ali) to meet the core team but he was kind enough to inform (others as well) and all participated.

“I really, without exaggeration, am deeply touched and encouraged by this sentiment expressed by our public servants,” he said.

“(It shows) that they are really committed (and I appreciate that they showed up) at very short notice – in fact, some of them had to cancel programmes and commitments with their families because I told them that this happens to be my priority in this administration (tackling rising costs of living).” – Nov 27, 2022

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