Over the weekend, Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, formally began his tenure as the nation’s leading statesman. And in that short period of time, he has made it clear that his administration will be winding down their expenditures drastically, in a bid to save as much cost as possible to channel it to everyday Malaysians.
Cost-saving measures ‘nothing new’, claims Sabri’s aide
And among some of the initiatives that he has personally vowed to take include refusing to draw any salary as Prime Minister, alongside cancelling an order made by a previous Prime Minister through the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for a Mercedes-Benz S600 luxury sedan valued at over RM1 million when bought brand-new.
As one can expect, both decisions alongside his commitment to a streamlined Cabinet and reduced ministerial salaries, has been generally well-received by the Malaysian public, many of whom have been weathering the effects of an oncoming recession and economic malaise post-lockdown. However, former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s press secretary, Ruhaidini Abd Kadir, said that these decisions weren’t surprising in the least.
In a Facebook post regarding the matter, she went on to point out that Anwar’s cost-cutting measures are ‘not out of the ordinary’, before claiming that Sabri had also committed to similar policies during his time in office as the ninth premier of Malaysia.
“The 9th Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, had also declined the use of a bulletproof vehicle that was prepared by the government for his use.
For the duration of his tenure as Prime Minister, he felt more comfortable using a Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) that has been in-use since the previous administration.” she explained.
Elaborating further, Ruhaidini also mentions that Sabri refused to grant approval to make modifications on the official aircraft designated for the Prime Minister’s use. This is on top of choosing to stay at his own residence instead of moving into the official Seri Perdana residence, in spite of the fact that it had already been renovated for his use.