17,000 Malaysian state workers to be dismissed

It is hoped that the redundancies will help to curb government spending.

Some 17,000 government jobs in Malaysia will be slashed as the newly elected government eliminates redundancies and seeks to alleviate public spending and debt.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was elected into power on May 9, said that agencies such as the Land Public Transport Commission and the Special Affairs Department would be folded. The former’s tasks will be taken on by the Ministry of Transport, instead.

"Most of these institutions founded which were not part of government, which were supposed to advise government, all these things will be disbanded. We don't need their intelligence," he said.

His government will also be reviewing the proposed high-speed rail project that would connect the capital city of Kuala Lumpur with Singapore, with a decision to be made “very soon”.

Ministers’ salaries will also be cut by a tenth.

One of the new government’s first actions was to eliminate the goods and services tax, which has placed pressure on the country’s finances. However, a 10% “sales-and-services tax” looks set to take its place.

A timeline for the various changes has not yet been provided. 

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