10% paycut forministers

>TunM:Wewant to show we’re concernedwith country’s financial woes

running the country, they can do so. But we are not forcing (them to take a pay cut).” In addition to salary cuts, Mahathir also announced the disbandment of several government agencies including the Malaysian Professors Council (MPN), Special Affairs Department (Jasa) and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), whose taskwill be taken over by the Transport Ministry. “The government does not really need these agencies as there have been cases where the (previous) government had spent money just to provide opportunities for its supporters. “Many agencies will be disbanded but we will ensure those (working there) who are earning lower salaries are not be affected. “These agencies will be dissolved. Whether it will be renamed under another entity remains uncertain,” he said. Mahathir said the Federal Village Development and Safety Committee (JKKP) will also be scrapped. He said the committee was seen as an “additional government” within the states that were not owned by the government. “All of this will be dropped. JKKPwill be dropped as there is toomuch political influence there.

“We have government officers who can play the role (of JKKP),” he said. On the downsizing of 17,000 political appointees, Mahathir said all of themwill first be terminated from their services before the government re-engages those who are essential such as low-income earners. On the previous government’s promise to increase civil servants’ pay, Mahathir said the current government is not bound by it. “We are looking at that. It is a promise made by the Opposition. They lost the election. “Nevertheless, we will look at it in a very positive way – where they deserve to be given some extra allowance we will do so.” Mahathir also stressed the government has no intention of buying back Proton from Geely. “It belongs to (Tan Sri) Syed Mokhtar (Al-Bukhary). “It’s up to himwhether he wants to buy it back or not. The government does not intend to buy it back,” he said. Describing the Cabinet meeting as wonderful, he said he is looking to have 12 more Cabinet posts in the soonest time. “Everyone contributed (at themeeting). “I allowed them to speak to show that I amnot a dictator,” he quipped. ‘I saluteyou. You saved thecountry’ KUALALUMPUR: TycoonRobert Kuok has praised PrimeMinisterTunDr Mahathir Mohamad for “saving the country”. “I salute you. You saved the country,” the Hong Kong-basedMalaysian business magnate saidwhen he called onMahathir at his office in Putrajaya yesterday. With a gentle tap on Kuok’s shoulder, Mahathir repliedwith a sheepish smile: “We need your help now.’’ A video clip as well as several pictures of the encounter were posted on the prime minister’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Kuok is one of themembers of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) appointed byMahathir onMay 12, when he announced its formation. Kuok, 94, attended his first CEP meeting on Tuesday. Its task is to advise the government on economic and financial matters. In his remarks following themeeting, Kuok called onMalaysians to put their trust in the CEPwhich also comprises former financeminister TunDaimZainuddin, former BankNegara governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petronas president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Hassan Marican and economist Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram. – Bernama Spyagency tobe disbanded PUTRAJAYA: A covert agency in the Prime Minister’s Office under Datuk Seri Najib Razakwill be disbanded. PrimeMinister TunDrMahathir Mohamad said the agency, Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation, will be rendered unnecessary under the new government. “We don’t need them. We don’t need their intelligence. I thinkwe are quite intelligent ourselves,” he told a press conference after chairing the Cabinet meeting yesterday. Mahathir said he had not been fully briefed on the role played by the agency. However, he said he knew the activities conducted by the agencywill not serve the present government any good. It has been reported that a house belonging to a high-ranking female officer, believed to be the head of the agency, was raided over the weekend. The female officer was reported to have gone on leave pending a probe that Najib had handed her important documents two days before the election.

BY G. SURACH AND HAIKAL JALIL newsdesk@thesundaily.com

PUTRAJAYA: All ministers in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will take a 10% pay cut immediately to reduce government expenditure, PrimeMinister TunDr MahathirMohamad said yesterday. “It is a habit of mine. “When I assumed the premiership in 1981, I did the same thing, whichwas to slash the salaries of ministers. “The Cabinet has agreed for the salary to be slashed by 10%. It shows we are concernedwith the country’s financial problem,” he told reporters after chairing the first PHCabinet meeting. The pay cut will bemade on the ministers’ basic salaries, he said. Mahathir said there are several high- ranking government officials who enjoy better pay than Cabinet members. However, he said the government will not cut their salaries. “If theywant to contribute towards (reducing) the cost in

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Kota Bharu






Petaling Jaya / Shah Alam


Kuok salutingMahathir “for saving the country” when he called on the primeminister in Putrajaya yesterday.



Kuala Lumpur



Isa, BNappointees in TransportMinistry toldtogo BY G. SURACH newsdesk@thesundaily.com PUTRAJAYA: BarisanNasional (BN) political appointees within the Transport minister in the BarisanNasional Cabinet to step downwithin the same time frame. “I amnot going to humiliate anyone by naming names and calling themout. “They should do the honorable thing and resign.” On the search for themissing flight










Johor Bahru



Ministry and various port authorities along with Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad have been asked to resign from their respective posts within seven days, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke. “His (Isa) position is untenable. As a former minister, he should do the honorable thing. “Emulate Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, who resigned honorably fromhis post in Felda,” he told reporters at the ministry yesterday. In streamlining SPAD’s functions into the Transport Ministry, Loke said the matter will take time as theministry plans to repeal the Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan AwamDarat Act 2010 (SPAD). “We will repeal the laws when the Dewan Rakyat convenes and disband SPAD. “For now, we will let SPAD carry out its work and functions under the ministry’s supervision,” he said. Loke also called on those holding positions in the board of directors in port authorities, whowere appointed by the




MH370 by search vessel Ocean Infinity , Loke said theministry has allowed the search to be extendeduntilMay 29 on the same basis of “no cure no pay” as implemented by the previous government. “Following the Cabinet meeting earlier, we have agreed for the vessel to extend its search and hope that theywill be able to recover the wreckage in the given time,” he said. However, Loke stressed that potential decisions on further extensions will only be considered after the deadline. “The government will review all possible agreements regarding the search for themissing aircraft,” he added. Meanwhile, the government has been urged to investigate the possibility that records related toMH370 had been falsified or omitted. In an open letter yesterday, Voice 370 – a support group forMH370 next-of-kin – saidMalaysia should bemore open to sharingMH370-related informationwith international bodies and agencies.

Kota Kinabalu



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