Impossible to slash costs with bloated civil service

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YOURSAY 'This is really a nonsensical statement by Mahathir. Do we have a choice of using cheaper alternatives for highways, electricity, sugar and flour?’

Cut costs, don't raise prices, Dr M tells gov't

Absalom: This is too little too late from the former PM, where most of these problems can be traced back to his long tenure (his successors just fine-tuned and perfected the art).

How to pay the IPP (independent power producer) billionaires and toll concessionaire magnates if you don't increase the electricity tariffs and toll charges? How do you fund the PM’s Department's RM7 billion budget if you don't increase the price of petrol, sugar and flour?

Where are all those ‘needy’ folks going to find the money to siphon out of the country (and to buy prime property overseas) if not from the pockets of the man on the street?

Swipenter: Cost-cuttings to the informed rakyat means:

1) Minimise graft and corruption

2) Minimise wastage and leakage

3) No white-elephant projects

4) Streamline the bloated government departments

4) Improve productivity and efficiency of civil servants

5) Stop all the voting-buying exercise such as BRIM and other handouts

6) Stop funding all extremist NGOs like Perkasa, Pekida, etc

7) Cut extravagant spending of PM, FLOM, top civil servants and top brass of GLCs

8) Retire and dismiss all deadwood in the civil service

9) Reform the NEP to ensure only the deserving gets the assistance

10) Practise open tender system and stop all rent-seeking activities.

In my opinion, all these unproductive activities probably add at least 30 percent to our cost of living.

Tehachapi: How ridiculous! On the one hand, Dr Mahathir Mohamad supports giving out subsidies, imposing regulations and price controls and on the other hand, he speaks about competition to lower prices. This is worse than voodoo economics.

You can't have the cake and eat it. Either we have regulated prices according to whims and fancies of the government or we have market prices based on forces of supply and demand.

The whole pricing system is unraveling now. Malaysians should brace for a period of high inflation.

The root cause of this problem lies in corruption, inefficiency, misallocation of resources, and bad regulations.

Cala: What kind of advice is this, Mahathir? As usual, the ex-PM fired off his supposedly well-thought-out advice, but to many of us they are nothing but a basket of useless uttering.

First, talking about cost, look at the bloated 1,400,000 strong civil service. Taiwan, whose population is 23 million (Malaysia has 28 million), the civil service is only 400,000.

Second, if the highway concessionaires deem it fit to raise the toll, they would have to justify their costs. And does Malaysia practice open tender before giving these concessionaires the contract?

wg321: PM Najib Razak wants to punish the urban voters especially the Chinese who did not vote for him in GE13. As long as he takes good care of the rural Malays, which is his power base, there is nothing to worry.

The toll hikes will not affect rural Malays because they don't use the highways and neither do the high assessment to be paid by Kuala Lumpur folks.

Very soon, the 1.4 million Malay civil servants will ask for more pay. He will oblige because they are also his political power base.

He may also increase the number of civil servants to two million so that his fixed deposit will increase.

The Reaper: This is really a nonsensical statement by Mahathir. Do we have a choice of using cheaper alternatives for highways, electricity, sugar and flour?

Everything is controlled by monopolies, which was created by you when you were PM.

Oh Ya?: Cut cost? Why didn't Mahathir urge the ruling elites to renegotiate the IPPs and toll concessionaires, both of which were his brainchild? Or to dismantle the monopolies in the automobile, sugar and flour industries instead of protecting his good friends?

What about open tenders for Petronas' jobs instead of benefiting his son and similar rent seekers? Pain killers wouldn't cure Bolehland's ills, only a major surgery will.

Anonymous_3e86: So far the BN government has not "listened" to the rakyat. It is still trying to justify the price hikes.

Why are the increases introduced at the same time? Because Najib is only interested in a quick solution to Fitch's rating downgrade of Malaysia.

He doesn't care about the rakyat's suffering. Corruption and overspending led to the rating downgrade. Now the rakyat has to suffer instead of these corrupt politicians.

Unspin: There is one significant difference between Mahathir and Najib - Mahathir viewed his premiership as a beginning - to do something good for the country (albeit he did it with many flaws) whereas Najib (and his wife, Rosmah Mansor) viewed the premiership as an end - to do something good for themselves.

Najib (and Rosmah) do not give a s**t about what we think as long as they can exploit and enjoy the perks that come with the position. (By the way, I am not a fan of Mahathir because I think he sucks big time).

Myop101: Dear Dr M, for what its worth, at least this time you made a point that I can wholeheartedly agree with.

But isn't it sad for you to advise the current crop of leaders to do what your administration failed to do?

The auditor-general had highlighted financial mismanagement, abuse and negligence in the government during your tenure as PM as well.

Anonymous #33227154: Government agencies and their cronies continue to receive huge inflated tenders while civil servants continue to receive pay rise and bonuses without improving on productivity.

And who are paying for all these? We, the rakyat, of course. If this is not outright robbery, then what is it?

Cost-cutting? Mahathir is spitting in the wind

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