During Malaysia’s National Transformation 2050 (TN50) dialogue session with prime minister Najib Razak, under the umbrella of concerns plaguing civil servants, the main issues raised were achieving work-life balance, and having a secondary business to supplement their income.

However, in a conversion with Free Malaysia Today, Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen said a major cause of civil servants’ inability to sustain themselves financially was the government’s failure to deal with its budget. “It testifies to the government’s failure to manage the economy properly,” he added.

According to Wong, it was generally unacceptable for civil servants to have another job, as this would result in a conflict of interest. Instead, they should be focusing their time and attention on their jobs, he pointed out. “You don’t expect civil servants to become Uber drivers and all that. That’s too much. No one should be working two jobs, especially civil servants,” he said.

Putrajaya had the choice of increasing the salaries of civil servants or finding ways to reduce the cost of living, he added, but there was doubt that the government could raising salaries. “We know that it’s struggling with the budget. So it must bring down the prices of goods,” he voiced.

To combat this pertinent problem, Wong suggested introducing new subsidies and close monitoring of the overall prices of goods. He also called for efforts to control inflation and to stabilise the ringgit at its old value of RM3.30 per US dollar.

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