KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today called on government departments to be thrifty and refrain from hosting grand celebrations and minimise gifting, including clothes, such as batik garments.
In his speech at the National Level Traders and Small Traders Convention 2022 in Putrajaya, Anwar called for a stop to such practices and urged for the needy to be prioritised instead.
Anwar also said he, his Cabinet ministers and respective chief secretaries of ministries need not be presented with expensive batik shirts.
“Reduce events that are festive and grand. There are departments, for example, for every event and celebration. There are new clothes, new batiks, and other preparations.
“I say that we must stop this practice. If you want to give, give to the poor. Low-income workers, the B40, they can get batik, no problem.
“But do not give any to me. Do not give any to ministers or the chief secretaries. Give to those who need it if you have already decided to give,” he said.
Anwar said that while such acts may be small, it would help the government save a huge amount of money, which can be channelled back to those in need.
“So today, I do not intend to announce new initiatives. I want to ensure that the funds that have been prepared, all of it reaches the intended groups.
“Suggestions, for example, to have traders’ and small traders’ day in market areas in Sabah; that is a good suggestion. There is no need for us to celebrate here anymore.
“So let us just have large-scale seminars in this hall. For small traders, have large events where they are, in rural areas, so that people can come and their businesses can increase significantly at least on those days,” he added.