Citing frugality, PM Anwar says not hosting Aidilfitri open house at Seri Perdana this year as well


Anwar, who is also finance minister, delivers his speech during the Finance Ministry’s monthly assembly in Putrajaya April 2, 2024. – Malay Mail photo

PUTRAJAYA (April 2): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said that his official residence at Seri Perdana here will not host any Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house this year.

Anwar, who is also the finance minister, instead exhorted ministries and government agencies to spend wisely and do away with lavish festivities.

“I have decided that to celebrate Aidilfitri, I will not hold a grand ceremony in Seri Perdana, I will join some of the celebrations held in the states by ministries just like this Ramadan,” he said in his ministry’s monthly assembly here.

Anwar also reminded government servants and agencies to not spend lavishly on their Aidilfitri celebrations this year.

“I want to clarify our practice of celebrating Aidilfitri, we say the government should be careful in spending, this includes agencies.

“We want to celebrate Aidilfitri, let’s be reasonable. I want to make sure that the treasury and government companies show a good example, and don’t compete to show who’s more impressive. Not even your money,” he said.

Anwar, who is also the Tambun MP, said Aidilfitri should remind Muslims of their “fitrah”, or innate nature.

Today’s announcement continued a similar theme of Anwar’s administration which also did not host any open house last year at the prime minister’s official residence.

In February, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Ibrahim said His Majesty supports the government’s move to immediately take austerity measures including implementing targeted subsidies since the government has always been in a position of fiscal deficit since 1998.

This weak financial situation, he said, will make it difficult for the government to implement new development projects or provide financial infusions to stimulate economic growth.

Sultan Ibrahim also said he hopes that the government will be firm in curbing the leakage and misappropriation of public funds, including reviewing weaknesses in governance at all levels of statutory bodies and government-owned companies and their subsidiaries.

To address the country’s fiscal position, the government in the past year has among others raised the rate of the sales and services tax (SST) for some services, implementing low-value goods tax and luxury goods tax, and rationalising subsidies for electricity tariffs and diesel. – Malay Mail