KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 (Bernama) -- Civil servants' salary can be adjusted upwards provided the 1.2 million government employees increased their productivity and supported government initiatives to transform Malaysia into a high-income economy, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Sunday.
He said that as long as productivity goes up, their wages would be adjusted in tandem with a stronger economy.
"Their wages will be adjusted as we go along. What is important is that (when the) economy gets stronger, government revenue gets stronger," he said when interviewed on "Setahun di Aras 5: Temubual Khas Bersama Perdana Menteri" programme aired over Bernama TV.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, also stressed on the importance of implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as one of the ways to boost government revenue.
"That is why GST is important. People want higher wages but not willing to support GST. I need the support of the 1.2 million government employees. If you want to be paid better in the future, I have to strengthen the government's revenue base because otherwise, where do I get the money to pay government servants?" he asked.
He said that by getting the support of all civil servants, it would enable the government to work out better deals for the people.
On how he planned to reconcile objectives of the New Economic Model (NEM) to attain a high-value economy and keeping costs low, Najib said that with the NEM in place, it could transform Malaysia into an innovative economy, driven by brains and talents.
On the call by the Malay right-wing group, Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa, that Bumiputeras should own 67 per cent of the country's economic wealth, the Prime Minister said the Bumiputeras are still not at the position where they should be and the way to do it is by rectifying past weaknesses.
"So what I'm trying to say is that look, let us not get too caught up with certain ways of looking at things, but let us look at ways that really create the sense of belonging, that we are together as one nation and one people, but affirmative action remains," he said.
On scepticism over open tenders and whether they were truly transparent, Najib said that through the new initiative, it would be transparent as the public would be able to see which company failed and which won the bid as well as the bidding prices offered by these companies.
"So, people can criticise the government if they think that the process is not a fair process," added Najib who marked his first year in office as Prime Minister on April 3.
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