I welcome the news that the government is forming an Economic Strategies Council to deal with the problems faced by the country. This is indirectly acknowledging that the economy is stagnant and facing lots of problems. Even though the government has been telling people that the county is having good growth at around 6% , most people in the streets already know that economy is not doing well for the past few years.
The state of the economy directly affects the people.. Whether the people can find jobs, can get good salaries, can be a good provider for the family, can get good bonuses all depend on the health of the economy. As such, as I have repeatedly stressed, we need to put all our brains together to find a way out of this doldrums . We need our brightest and best to tackle the woes. We cannot just depend on the civil servants which at the present moment is mainly from one racial group, limiting the pools of talents that we could have drawn from. The same unhealthy situation exists in the universities and academia. While we are waiting for the government to open up the civil service and the academia to all Malaysians irrespective of race and creed (hopefully this will come before we all go to the next world), we have to adopt a short term solution of getting the best brains together to tackle the economic woes. So it is apt that an Economic council be formed .
As I have mentioned, this council must have the best and the brightest in it. It must do away with the unwritten rule that only people from certain race can be appointed to head sub committess and even the council proper itself. It must set an example for the future.
The members of this council must be drawn from Businessmen, bankers, economists, academicians, civil servants, entrepreneurs, business chambers representatives, NGOs including consumer groups, the professions and finally politicians. To prevent the Council being messed up, politicians must be limited to as few as possible and should be drawn from both sides of the divide.
It must do away with partisan politics and instead concentrate on how to revive the economy and tackle the problems of inflations… not by just merely raising petrol pump prices and giving meagre cash rebate like the last round..
It must not only tackle short term economic woes but must also formulate a long term economic policy that is based on merits, fair distribution and equal opportunities for all. It must o away with the NEP, and instead formulate a economic policy with affirmative action only to the needy, regardless of ethnic origin. The people must be made to understand that the skewed NEP has not only divided the country but it has not successful in providing the necessary fighting skill to do business in this era of globalisation. It has given out clutches, but as long as the people do not do away with the clutches, they will not be able to survive economically in the global era. The people must be taught to stand and walk without clutches, without help, and only then they will be properly equipped to deal with the rapidly changing world.
Lastly, I hope that this is not going to be like so many other announcements that were made but we are still waiting.. The IPCMC is more than 4 yrs in waiting. The there are the MCAC, the Judicial Commission etc…