PUTRAJAYA (May 16): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed says the government will take steps to reduce wastage, including terminating the contracts of all 17,000 political appointees.
However, he said the government was willing to help low-income political appointees, such as drivers.
"It will hurt them if their services are suddenly terminated, as they would not have any salary and so on. We will give them other posts that suit their qualifications.
"It's being done but will take time, and will require decisions to be finalised by myself," he told a press conference at the Perdana Leadership Foundation here, today.
Dr Mahathir said the government would also review other government expenditures to reduce its burden.
Asked on axing of civil servants, the Prime Minister said senior government officials who had "done something wrong" would be sent on leave or suspended.
"It depends on the particular actions we can carry out to remove them from being part of the government," he said.
On the appointment of a new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner following the resignation of Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, Dr Mahathir said certain appointments required the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said the government was also ready to refund whatever excess taxes collected under GST.
"The directive has been issued so that we (the government) do not to collect anymore GST. We will try to pay back (the excess collected) to them (the people)," he said.
He said he had attended a briefing on how the GST, which was introduced in April 2015, would be abolished.
The Finance Ministry in a statement today said that the supply of local goods and services as well as those imported which were previously charged GST at a standard rate of six per cent, would be zero rated effective June 1.
With respect to fuel prices which are reviewed every Wednesday, Dr Mahathir said: "There will be no ups and downs ... present prices will stay. If there is a need , we (the government) will subsidise."