Cutting our pay won’t solve rising costs, says minister

Mahdzir Khalid says it is not known if political veteran Rafidah Aziz was serious or merely being sarcastic about the pay cut.

KUALA NERANG: A suggestion that ministers take a cut in pay and allowances will not solve the problem of the rising cost of living, said rural development minister Mahdzir Khalid today.

Instead, he said the problem of rising costs should be dealt with by more effective methods, such as those announced by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday regarding electricity tariffs and chicken prices.

“The prime minister and his team in the Cabinet have put in a lot of effort, especially ministers who are directly involved with the economy and the prices of goods, like the finance ministry and those related to the economy, commerce, agriculture and public works.

“They meet twice weekly to find solutions like the one the prime minister announced yesterday, to not raise electricity tariffs and float the market price of chicken,” he said after a constituency event.-

He was asked to comment on a suggestion by former international trade and industry minister Rafidah Aziz, who proposed a cut in ministers’ salaries to show empathy for the people who are now struggling with the economic crisis because of Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Mahdzir said maintaining the price of RON95 petrol at RM2.05 per litre was also one of the measures to help the people cope with the rising cost of living.

He encouraged those with ideas that can help the people deal with the issue to forward them to the government and the prime minister.

“We don’t know what Rafidah meant about the salary cut, whether she really meant it or was just being sarcastic,” he said, adding that she should come up with better ideas.

“She is a veteran, a person who should give good advice on what can be done. If she has an idea, she should meet the prime minister and tell him her ideas,” he added.

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