SERDANG: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday the country will recover in three years from the administrative and financial problems left behind by the previous government.
He said the present government has many plans that he believes can overcome the administrative and financial problems left behind, and called on civil servants to be patient and work with the government to recover its position.
“InsyaAllah (God willing), if the situation in the country remains peaceful without any unlawful incidents in the next three years, we can bring about the recovery,” he said at the Cuepacs premier assembly here yesterday.
Dr Mahathir said it is not enough for the efforts to revive the country to be executed only through political power in the wake of the victory of the Pakatan Harapan coalition in the 14th general election.
“It is of utmost importance to all of you to understand our history and know what is being done by this new government so that you can extend close cooperation to the government in the interest of the country so that our country can once again be on the road to becoming a developed nation in 2025,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said the cooperation of the civil servants is necessary for them to understand the problems the country faces, including the over RM1 trillion debts that have made the country’s financial situation most difficult.
“That’s why we were forced to cancel mega programmes that the previous government initiated, scheduled or implemented. We have had to reduce the expenditure on these huge projects. If we were to terminate the old contracts, we will have to pay compensation,” he said.
He said a portion of the country’s income has to be used to pay the country’s debts, which cause the government to pay lesser attention to national development.
“I hope we can be patient. If we cooperate in an atmosphere of peace and calm, then we can restore the financial position and develop our country.
“It is not easy to pay off RM1 trillion debts. All the people, including government servants, have to tighten our belts a little so that we can reduce the normal expenses and pay the debts,” he said.
“InsyaAllah (God willing), we will be able to settle our debts and, after that, the government income will rise and can be used to help with the cost of living of the people, especially those working with the government,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said a high income will mean nothing if the prices of goods rise more than the salary increases.
“For us, what is more important is to provide a salary that can buy more than before … it is for this reason that the present government is reviewing the country’s financial procedures,” he said.
The prime minister said he is confident that civil servants will be with the government in helping restore the country’s financial position so that “the ringgit will be stronger and [we] can buy more goods than before”.
“We believe that to reduce the cost of living and raise the purchasing power, we need to raise the efficiency and discipline of the members of the present government administration,” he said. — Bernama