PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim called on civil servants to make a paradigm shift to drive the country’s growth with the government continuing to focus on enhancing their welfare.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said every civil servant needs to maintain good practices and governance and do away with bad practices that jeopardise the image of public service and the country.

“If the performance of civil servants improves, of course, I will give recognition, that’s my job as a ‘father’. And as a father, I urge my children to stay disciplined, and to study and work harder,”

“I want good results, so support me so that we can do better together,” he said at the MADANI Aspiration Gathering of Public Service Counselling Associates (AKRAB) here today.

Anwar said that currently, his Unity Government has implemented several initiatives to ensure the welfare of civil servants, including an increase of more than 13% in salaries, which will be implemented starting from December this year.

Anwar said the civil servant salary adjustment, this time around, has a different approach and is in line with the MADANI policy initiated by the current ruling government.

“The change in the approach and the increase in the salaries must be meaningful, and both of them must align with MADANI policy.

“It needs to reduce the high and wide salary gap among civil servants, meaning that those in the highest salary group will get the least increase and those in the lowest salary group will get the most increase,” he said to thunderous applause from 10,000 AKRAB members.

On another development, the Prime Minister said civil servants’ understanding and proficiency in digital and artificial intelligence (AI) need to be improved as it is an urgent need.

“There should be an explanation programme held at each department to increase the level of civil servants’ understanding and proficiency in digital and AI fields. Or else, I’m worried that digital and AI will cause the gap to widen.

“That’s why I make it compulsory to have more comprehensive training requirements, not for urban elites but for rural communities, lower level civil servants to get similar training,” he said.

Meanwhile, Anwar also stressed the need to empower the country’s economy in tandem with the empowerment of culture and values.

“The empowerment of the economy is still fundamental. If the economy is not strengthened, there will be no growth, no investment, and inflation and unemployment cannot be controlled...that will not help us.

“That’s why our fundamental focus is still on the economy, otherwise...it is impossible for us to think about the comfort of life, additional allocations for education or health, salary adjustments for civil servants,” he said.

On AKRAB, Anwar all members to carry out the responsibilities entrusted to them well because they are the bulwark of public service.

“Today, I entrusted AKRAB with yet another huge responsibility to take care of this country, take care of the image and integrity of civil servants and to report traitors and corrupt people,” he said.

The gathering was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali and Direcor-General of Public Service Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz.