KYOTO (Japan) — The government is looking for the best formula with regard to a proposal to stop making new appointments in the civil service under the permanent and pension scheme to ensure that public servants will not lose out, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
The prime minister said no decision has been made on the proposal for new appointments to be made under an improved contractual scheme and the Cabinet has yet to discuss the matter.
However, he drew attention to the fact that pension payments have become very big.
“Now we (also) give pension to wives and children (of government pensioners who died). All these have become a burden to the country. So we (government) may not be able to afford it. This is the problem,” he told a media conference at the end of his working visit here yesterday.
Recently Public Service Department director-general Datuk Seri Borhan Dolah was reported as saying that beginning next year new appointments in the civil service might be made under an improved contractual scheme instead of the existing permanent and pension scheme.
He said the proposal was decided at a special public service reform committee meeting in October 2018 that wanted the service to be minimised in phases and based on need. It is also aimed at reducing the burden of pension bill which is now reaching RM28 billion.
Asked on the RM28 billion figure, Dr Mahathir said he expects the pension bill to continue to increase.
“We want to find a way where the government can afford (to pay) and officers (civil servants) do not lose,” he said.
On his blog posting about Malays who are not willing to work hard, he said his writing was directed at those who are lazy.
“There are those who are working (hard); I’m not referring to those who are willing (to work hard),” he said.
However, Dr Mahathir wants Malaysians to emulate the work ethics of the Japanese who are willing to undertake all kinds of jobs and do not hire many foreigners, thus reducing the outflow of funds through money remitted by foreign workers.
“In Japan they themselves sweep roads and they look after the cleanliness of their country. They are not dependent on foreign manpower and that is why they are progressive and rich,” he said.
On another matter, Dr Mahathir stressed that no extradition request for independent preacher Dr Zakir Naik was made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in their recent meeting.
“He mentioned the name (of Zakir) in passing only. He mentioned Zakir Naik only once,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said Modi’s focus throughout their meeting was to explain the situation in Jammu-Kashmir.
Dr Mahathir and Modi held a bilateral meeting while attending the 5th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Russia.
Indian media had reported that Modi had asked Dr Mahathir to take steps to extradite the Indian-born preacher, who is wanted by New Delhi on allegations of money laundering and promoting terrorism.
Dr Mahathir ended his three-day working visit to Kyoto yesterday.