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PUTRAJAYA, May 16 — A whopping 17,000 “political appointees” will be terminated soon, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
He said his Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration is looking to trim excess fat from the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration to cut government spending.
“There had been excessive government spending and we need to reduce this, which includes too many contract employees, some of whom were for administrative needs while others were political appointees.
“In cases where they are drivers, who get a low salary, it would be a burden to them if we terminate them abruptly,” he told a news conference at the Perdana Leadership Foundation here.
Dr Mahathir said such contract workers would be reassigned to tasks more suited to their qualifications.
The prime minister also said the government is reviewing other expenditure in order to cut costs.
When asked how many more government servants will be laid off aside from the “political appointees”, Dr Mahathir said action will only be taken against those who are suspected of wrongdoings.
“The senior officers who obviously have done something wrong or are suspected of doing something wrong, we will give them leave for them to enjoy a holiday, or we will suspend them.
“It depends on what particular action we can carry out in order to remove them from the government,” he said.