Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What Is It - The Economic Transformation of Malaysia - A Roadmap, A Plan, A Programme, A Blueprint?

By Matthias Chang
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 10:50

Yesterday, the Malaysian government, more specifically Pemandu (Performance Management and Delivery Unit) CEO, Datuk Seri Idris Jala announced a RM1.3 trillion or about US$444 billion investment - (Roadmap? Plan? Programme? Blueprint?) to transform Malaysia’s economy. To the Chinese, 444 is definitely a bad omen – literally die, die, die!

There were enough acronyms - ETP, GNI, EPPs, NKEAs, KPIs etc. to confuse everyone.

What was most interesting in the power-point presentation by Datuk Seri Idris Jala was his emphasis that the economic transformation is not a PLAN but a PROGRAMME, whatever that means.

A major initiative such as the economic transformation must be conveyed to the people in a way that would not lead to confusion and or ridicule.

Jala for reasons best known to himself and his think tank insist on the emphasis and the difference between a PLAN and a PROGRAMME.

But, please do explain what is the difference, for if Datuk Jala cannot even convey his own idea and concepts of the two words, PLAN and PROGRAMME, the initiative will be still born.

Why am I so pessimistic?

Bearing in mind Jala’s emphatic distinction of PLAN and PROGRAMME, why did NST in its front page blare out:


And in the second paragraph of the story, it was reported,

“Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Idris Jala, who is also Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) chief executive officer laid out THE PLAN, conceived primarily to get Malaysia out of the middle-income trap”.

Then we have another paragraph,

“Presenting the economic ROADMAP at the ETP open day in Kuala Lumpur yesterday …”

The SUN newspaper had a different take on the initiative, and its headline cried out,

“NO business for government – Corporate leaders want level playing field, free competition and government to exit business”.

Is this the essence of the ETP?

I have examined the 94 pages of the power-point slides by Datuk Jala and I did not come across this message as being central to the ETP, although private sector investment will be the main engine for the so-called growth in the next ten years.

The STAR newspaper headline had a different slant or emphasis,

“RM115 bil start – seven projects under ETP to triple nation’s income”.

The lead story is all about the value of the EPP (Entry Point Projects).

There were no references to road maps, but there were specific references to PLANS such as,

“PLANS in the pipeline include making Malaysia a number one regional hub … there are also PLANS to build 141 km rail lines via a mass rapid transit high-speed rail system to connect Kuala Lumpur to Singapore”.

No doubt, a lot of hard work has been put into the ETP etc. and this effort must be applauded.

But, if the leading newspapers cannot get it right, I wonder who will get it right!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you believe anything NST (known as the "Crooked Times" to those who work there)writes, then it is your problem.

You will be better off wth one of the Chinese papers, if you can read the language.If not, you are stuck.