Last week, MP Liew Chin Tong revealed in his blog HERE that the Prime Minister’s Department’s allocation for 2010 is a whopping RM12 billion, not RM4 billion as some people may have perceived it to be. That's a lot of money! Like many Malaysians, I wondered why that department is NOT tightening the belt like what the rest of us are doing in the light of subsidy cuts and warnings of imminent bankruptcy by 2019.
Based on MP Liew's blog, I have summarized a few astounding facts:
A. Staff size of the PMD
Staff size: 4,414 staff in the PMD
TWENTY YEARS LATER
Staff size: 9,673 ( this is an increase of 119.14% after TWENTY YEARS)
Staff size: 21,045 in 2003 (this is an increase of 117.564% in TWO YEARS)
Year : 2009
PM: PM Najib Razak
Satff Size: 25,332 (this is an increase of 20.37% over 6 years)
PM: PM Najib
Staff size: 43,544 people (this is an increase of 71.893% in ONE YEAR!!!!)
After that mathematical exercise, I decided to compare the budgets of our PM with that of the US President , Singapore PM and the Queen of England.
I was quite amazed that the information is readily available in the net.
You can CLICK HERE for the Executive Office of the US President and OVER HERE for the Congressional Budget Submission for Fiscal Year 2011.
The White House budget request for 2011 (p. 13 of this PDF) is for a total of US$393,883,000 which works out to RM1, 299, 813, 900. In the last line on that page, the White House budget says that this does not include programs.
So facts and figures show that the budget for The White House is $394 million.
The Budget for our Prime Minister's Office is RM4 billion (US$1.25 billion).
What is the operating budget for the Executive Office of the President?
In 2010, the White House staff comprises 1,888 people - a very sharp contrast indeed to 43,554 in the PMD. In simple terms, White House staffing is 4.3% of the Prime Minister’s Department. Amazing. You can read more about the White House budget and staffing numbers HERE.
I am not that good in mathematics and statistics but the figures seem to show that it costs three times as much to run the PM's office as it does the entire Executive Office of the President of the US.
Hmmm...Something must be wrong here.
Let's take a look at Singapore.
At THIS SITE, it says that "A total budget of $290.94 million has been allocated to PMO in FY2010 to achieve this mission."
That works out to RM681.207 million for the Singapore budget.
Understandably, Singapore can afford that as even with a population of 5.1 million (3.2 million) excluding foreigners, enjoys a per capita income of more than USD 37,293. In sharp contrast, Malaysia has a population of 27 million and a per capita income of USD6897!!! (Source: Wikipedia) That for US is USD 46, 381.
So this means that Singapore's per capita income is 5.4 times that of Malaysia even though Malaysia's population is more than 5 times that of Singapore.
Comparatively, one can understand if our PMO's budget is higher than that of Singapore based on population size and area. But how then can it be higher than that of the US President?
According to The Columbus Dispatch:
Campaign manager Graham Smith said Britain's monarchy is the most expensive in Europe and "continues to waste many millions of pounds of taxpayers' money when front line services are being threatened."If Queen Elizabeth II is going to have to trim the fats and tighten the belt by cutting spending and putting off palace repairs as royal finances are squeezed by Britain's budget crisis, what about for our country?
"It's time to slash the budgets without reservation or sentiment," he said. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.
Do we see the same sort of budgeting, cost-cutting measures in our public service to put the rakyat FIRST as proclaimed??? Or do we see a trend where some design departments that are of little objective use to the country and pay fat salaries to those undeserving to keep their loyalty?
And do we see more and more spending as can be seen by recent reports? If so, are our MPs debating these and speaking up for the rakyat?
In closing, allow me to draw your attention to Ooi Kee Beng's piece HERE:
The challenge for Mr Najib is to cut the national Budget deficit over the two years before general elections need to be called, and aim the pain away from poorer Malaysians.So where and how should the government cut spending????? Are they willing to do that???? Or will there be more subsidy cuts where the rakyat will have to fork out more $$$ and get back less?
This will take some doing. The irony is, given the enormous income gap in Malaysia, subsidy cuts will require measures to subsidise the drop in relative buying power among the poor. Already, there are calls for bus fares to be reduced (through subsidies, of course) to compensate for the expected inflation.
The latest subsidy cuts are in fact a cautious move, where the enormity of the fiscal problem is given deep consideration. The Prime Minister is testing the waters, and judging by the largely positive initial reactions from economists, more subsidy cuts are to be expected over the coming months.
There are two other obvious measures Mr Najib can take to reduce the deficit. One is to raise taxes; this will not be popular but should in the longer term be considered.
The other is to cut government spending - politically more sensitive, since it must mean severe reductions in civil service personnel. If the hike in the number of government servants has been to absorb "unemployable graduates" and win loyalty at the grassroots, then this will be one of the last measures the government will take.
The following is a comment from a reader, Mohd. Naim, which gives more information wrt civil service in Malaysia. Thank you Saudara Mohd. Naim for sharing this. Salam
Comment by Saudara Mohd. Naim @ 8.51 a.m., 23rd July
Actually you cannot compare our civil service with other country because definition of civil service is different from one to the other.
In Malaysia, teacher, doctor and army are civil service while in other country, they are not. If you want to know statisctics of cilvil servant by ministry, you can see HERE.
Why are there so many staff in PMO ? This is because there are many departments are put under PMO's Department. Such as Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia (which take over all maritime agencies function like Jabatan Laut, Polis Marin and others)
MAMPU which department that handle modernization of our goverment as well coordinate Public Sector ICT also under PMO.
The Parliment, Attorny Generals, Judicery, FELDA,Auditor-Genaral, Statistics, SUHAKAM, Tabung Haji, MACC, Public Service Deparment and many more are put under PMO. That's why u can't compare White House staff with Malaysia PMO.
Details of deparments under PMO is accessible AT THIS LINK.