Government to achieve goals without increasing cost - Dr M

PUTRAJAYA, May 21 (Bernama) -- The government will not increase the number of civil servants or set up new institutions to achieve the country's goals, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

He said the existing institutions would be utilised in a more efficient manner, without increasing the cost.

"We are confident that with the wisdom of the administrators and government chosen by the people, we can make changes without increasing the cost of administration," he said when addressing staff of the Prime Minister's Department at Dataran Putra, here.

This was Dr Mahathir's first meeting with the staff after being appointed the country's seventh prime minister on May 10.

He said that although various changes would be implemented in the administration, these would only be done after carrying out an in-depth study of the current situation.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia would be able to cope with various challenges if it continued to adhere to the principles of democratic administration.

"We can stand up to the whole world. This was proven when our currency came under attack (during the financial crisis in 1997-1998). We managed to confront the huge crisis because we worked towards one objective, which was to safeguard the nation, he said.

The Prime Minister said Malaysia had also transformed from an agriculture-based economy to an industrial country without any major problems.

However, he said, as an industrial nation, more knowledge was required among the administrators to address the demand for new high-technology.

"If we do not understand this technology, then we cannot serve the investors. So, we need to improve the capability and knowledge of the administrators, especially in the Prime Minister's Department," he added.