Malaysia cuts costs of officials’ overseas working trips

The Malaysian Government has agreed that cabinet ministers going on short business trips will not be allowed to bring their spouses along, a move aimed to cut public expenditure.

Malaysian Minister of Economic Affairs Mohamed Azmin Ali (Photo: www.thestar.com.my)

Malaysian Minister of Economic Affairs Mohamed Azmin Ali (Photo: www.thestar.com.my)

Speaking with reporters, Malaysian Minister of Economic Affairs Mohamed Azmin Ali said the immediate directive was approved in a recent meeting of the cabinet. 

For a working visit of less than seven days, a minister can be accompanied by only two aids, he said.

The ministers can bring their spouses if they fork out their own expenses for trips less than seven days, he added.

However, the directive does not apply to the Prime Minister as his wife is still required to carry out official duties in the countries visit.

Reducing public spending to curb public debt is one of the major priorities of Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad since he assumed power in May 2018.

He previously announced that salaries of Cabinet ministers will be cut by 10 percent with immediate effect. He explained this measure comes as the new government looks to reduce the government's debt, which is in excess of 1 trillion ringgit (251.5 billion USD).

In addition, he is working to narrow down the government and seize assets related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) State fund. He announced that the Land Public Transport Commission and other government-linked agencies will be disbanded.

The Malaysian PM also has reviewed all billion-dollar infrastructure projects, many of which were cancelled or suspended due to budget limitation.-VNA

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