Schlumberger makes Malaysia regional hub

It marks first step in ETP’s aim of attracting MNC headquarters
PETALING JAYA: The launch of Schlumberger Ltd’s financial hub here yesterday is the first initiation under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) to attract more multinational companies to set up their regional headquarters in Malaysia, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala said.
Idris said that under the ETP, the Government aimed to attract 100 multinational companies to set up their regional headquarters by 2020.
“This will not only spur economic growth but allows Malaysians to develop greater skills and employment in value-added activities,” he said after the launch yesterday.
The hub represents a major transformation in how Schlumberger provides financial support to its operating business managers in the oil and gas industry.
Datuk Seri Idris Jala signing a plaque to mark the launch of Schlumberger’s financial hub. With him is Simon Ayat.
It is expected to provide financial services not only in Malaysia but also in the region and potentially the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
Schlumberger chief financial officer Simon Ayat said Malaysia was the obvious choice for its new facility.
“The country offers highly qualified financial professionals with excellent customer service attitudes.
“Malaysia is open to attracting knowledge-based activities and offers an excellent business environment, with a Government committed to the development of education and infrastructure,” Ayat noted.
He said the financial hub, which currently has almost 200 employees from 19 countries, was expected to have over 400 staff by next year.
It would offer staff the opportunities to expand their industry knowledge and enable them to gain broader international exposure in the oil and gas industry.
The hub’s diversity in nationality and culture would enable employees to expand their careers with the support knowledge gained from their direct interaction with operational management from over 60 countries.
“To ensure success, dedicated human resources and training managers have already been assigned to the new hub,” Ayat noted.
Schlumberger is the world’s leading supplier of technology, integrated project management and information solutions for the oil and gas industry.
Source: TheStar

Download ETP Roadmap for Malaysia

You can now download the Economic Transformation Programme Roadmap here. Available in both Bahasa Malaysia and English.

The English version:

Versi Bahasa Malaysia:

If you still want a hard copy, MPH will be carrying it nationwide from tomorrow.

Launch of ETP: The Roadmap for Malaysia

Join us for the launch of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP): The Roadmap for Malaysia.

Date: 25th October 2010
Time: 2:00pm
Venue: Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC)

Launch ceremony and keynote address by our Prime Minister, Dato' Sri Mohd Najib. Admission is FREE and seats are LIMITED. Email us at to book your seats today.

Visit for more information.

ETP Open Day CEO Forum 21/09/10

CEO Forum - "Economic Transformation Programme - The View from the Private Sector" at ETP Open Day in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 21 September 2010.

Panellists are:
Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon, Managing Director, Royal Selangor International
Dato' Sri Nazir Razak, Group Executive, CIMB Group
Dato' Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes, CEO, Air Asia
Dato' Sri Shazalli Ramly, CEO, Celcom Axiata
Stephen Hagger, Country Manager and Head of Equities, Credit Suisse Securities Malaysia
Mokhtar Hussein, Deputy Chairman and CEO, HSBC Bank Malaysia

Moderated by Malek Ali, Founder, BFM

ETP Open Day 21/09/10

ETP Open Day keynote address on 21st September 2010.

To download the ETP keynote presentation slides, click here.

Malaysia Economic Transformation Programme

The Economic Transformation Programme
Propelling Malaysia Towards Becoming A High-Income, Developed Nation

The Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) is a comprehensive effort that will transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020. It will lift Malaysia’s gross national income (GNI) per capita from about USD6,700 or RM23,700 in 2009 to more than USD15,000 or RM48,000 in 2020, propelling the nation to the level of other high-income nations. This GNI growth of 6 percent per annum will allow us to achieve the targets set under Vision 2020.

Successful implementation of the ETP will see Malaysia’s economy undergo significant changes to resemble other developed nations. We will continue our shift towards a service based economy, with the services sector growing from 58 percent to 65 percent in the same period. More than 3.3 million new jobs will be created by 2020, spread across the country in urban and rural areas. The nature of these new jobs will result in a shift towards middle and high-income salary brackets. Greater Kuala Lumpur will be transformed into a world-class city. Finally, growth will be achieved in a sustainable manner, without cost to future generations, through initiatives such as building alternative energy generation capacity and conserving our environment to promote eco-tourism.

The ETP is Different from Past Attempts to Grow the Economy
A bold new approach has been taken to develop the ETP. It is the first time that any effort of this kind has been undertaken in the history of Malaysia, or of any other developed nation. The programme provides strong focus on a few key growth engines: the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs). These NKEAs are expected to make substantial contributions to Malaysia’s economic performance, and they will receive prioritised public investment and policy support. The ETP will be led by the private sector; the Government will primarily play the role of a facilitator. Most of the funding will come from the private sector (92 percent) with public sector investment being used as a catalyst to spark private sector participation.

The effectiveness of any transformation programme often lies in the details. The ETP presents a departure from norms because it is focused on actions—not on theoretical principles and ideas. We have identified 131 entry point projects (EPPs) that concretely outline actions required to grow the economy. The EPPs and other business opportunities identified under each NKEA are anchored to how much they contribute to GNI; they were selected based on rigorous economic and financial analysis. Any public spending will be allocated on the basis of maximising GNI per ringgit of public expenditure. Finally, the ETP was designed to be rigorous and transparent, with a new ETP Unit under PEMANDU (Performance Management and Delivery Unit within the Prime Minister’s Department) being tasked to monitor and report progress to Government leaders, the business community and the rakyat.

Co-created by the Private and Public Sectors
From its inception, the private sector and the business community have been involved in the ETP. In May 2010, a Thousand Person Workshop was run to help identify the 12 NKEAs. The private sector continued to play a large role, when the labs began in June, with 500 of the best minds from the private sector and the Government coming together to develop plans for the 12 NKEAs.

The lab ideas and the plans that were developed were syndicated extensively throughout the eight-week lab period, with more than 600 syndication meetings with ministries, agencies, multi-national corporations, local corporations and non-governmental organisations. Important stakeholders such as the Prime Minister, Ministers and business leaders, were brought in early to visit the labs and provide feedback to the participants.

Subsequent to the labs, Open Days are being conducted in Kuala Lumpur, Sabah and Sarawak, where visitors (business community, multinational corporations, rakyat and media) can visit NKEA booths and provid further input.

The result of this process is a clear roadmap for Malaysia to become a high-income nation. In launching the ETP, we affirm that the EPPs listed in this roadmap are just the start, and through their execution we will learn and adapt the programme to ensure that we reach our aspirations.

Overview of the NKEAs
The 12 NKEAs are at the core of the ETP. An NKEA is defined as a driver of economic activity that has the potential to directly and materially contribute a quantifiable amount of economic growth to the Malaysian economy. The 12 NKEAs selected are:
  • Oil, Gas and Energy
  • Palm Oil
  • Financial Services
  • Tourism
  • Business Services
  • Improving Electronics and Electrical
  • Wholesale and Retail
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Communications Content and Infrastructure
  • Agriculture
  • Greater Kuala Lumpur / Klang Valley
  • Overview
Whats Does it Mean to be an NKEA?
Malaysia will focus its economic growth efforts on NKEAs, which will receive prioritised Government support including funding, top talent and Prime Ministerial attention. In addition, policy reforms such as the removal of barriers to competition and market liberalisation will be targeted at the NKEAs.

The programme will involve deliberate choices and trade-offs. Prioritising investment in NKEA sectors implies reducing investment in other sectors. The designation of sectors as NKEA sectors has to have real resource implications if it is to lead to meaningful change. The same philosophy of prioritisation will also apply to other support provided by the Government to sectors, such as operating expenditure and sector-specific policy and regulatory change.

The NKEAs will have dedicated focus from the Prime Minister and will have fast-track mechanisms to resolve disputes or bottlenecks. The Government is committed to the ongoing support of growth in the non-NKEA sectors. However, the Government will focus its efforts on the NKEAs because of the significance of the GNI contribution that these parts of the economy can drive.

No discrimination in ETP projects

The Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) will not discriminate against any state nor is it a stimulus package, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala.
“Projects under the ETP, which is driven by private sector investment, will cut across the states.
"No state will be left out. Many Entry Point Projects (EPP) are also in Penang and Selangor,” he said after delivering a talk on the ETP at the National SME Economic Transformation Conference here Thursday.
On complaints by Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government that they were being left out, Idris said Selangor was invited to join in the ETP Lab.
“We have the same level of engagement with individual states be it Selangor, Sabah or Sarawak. There is no particular preference,” he said.
The private sector, he added, would look at which location was more commercial and feasible for their investment regardless of whether it was a Pakatan or Barisan Nasional-ruled state.
The ETP, he was also not a stimulus package but a “very specific programme” helmed by the private sector compared to previous packages which were by the government.
Idris said policies on foreign labour would be customised according to sectors to ensure there was sufficient workforce to make the ETP work while ensuring security concerns were addressed.
“We cannot have one policy across the sector. But at the same time, we can also improve the technology so that we do not rely on too many foreign workers,” he added.
Source: TheStar

Vision 2020 will not fail

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 - Cabinet minister Datuk Seri Idris Jala refuted Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s warning today that Vision 2020 would most likely fail if the government continues to rely on foreign direct investment (FDI) to drive economic growth.
The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) expressed confidence that Vision 2020 would be achieved because of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
“I believe that we can achieve Vision 2020 by 2020,” said Idris(picture) in a question and answer session after Dr Mahathir’s speech at a CEO Forum organised by the Perdana Leadership Foundation today.
“I agree with you (Dr Mahathir) that we must change the strategy. That’s why the Economic Transformation Programme is necessary,” he added.
The former premier said that chasing FDI worked well in the past but that the strategy was no longer viable as “much more attractive” investment destinations have since emerged in Asia.
Dr Mahathir urged the Najib administration to focus instead on encouraging domestic direct investment (DDI) to drive expansion from within and possibly achieve Vision 2020 that way.
Idris echoed Dr Mahathir's view and said that a focus on domestic investments was crucial to transform Malaysia to a high-income nation within 10 years.
“I agree that we must change to domestic investments,” said the Performance Management & Delivery Unit (Pemandu) CEO.
Idris pointed out that more than 70 per cent of the ETP's 131 entry point projects (EPPs) were funded by local investors.
“73 per cent of the EPPs are coming from local investors,” he said.
Pemandu has said it had identified investments worth RM1.38 trillion over 10 years, of which 60 per cent would come from the private sector, 32 per cent from government-linked companies and eight per cent from government.
The investment aims to double per capita income and push Malaysia into the ranks of “developed” nations by 2020, rebalancing Asia’s third most export-driven economy towards domestic demand and the service sector.
DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang, however, has slammed the ETP for its “unrealistic targets” and its failure to address existing government policies which have resulted in the country being caught in a middle-income trap.
The plans in the ETP ranged from a new mass transit system to relieve congestion in Kuala Lumpur, to building a huge oil storage facility next to Singapore to form a regional oil products trading hub.
A casino project in Sabah is also being considered.
Today, Idris said that the government needed to focus on quality FDI following Dr Mahathir’s criticism of the country’s dependence on FDI.
“Now, we must look at FDI that has quality,” he said.
The country’s fourth prime minister said earlier that Malaysia was “addicted” to FDI and depended too much on low labour cost to pull in investments.
Dr Mahathir pointed out that East Asian powerhouses Japan and Korea had not relied on FDI to power their rapid progress but instead set up and financed local companies utilising technology acquired from foreign sources to build indigenous capacity.
Unveiled in 1991, Vision 2020 laid out the government’s 30-year ambitious plan to make Malaysia a fully developed nation by the year 2020 by boosting GDP and per capita income.
Although there is no single definition, advanced nations are usually identified by their high per capita income and developed service and knowledge industries, coupled with high life expectancy and quality of education.

Source: TheMalaysianInsider

Economic Transformation Programme Open Day

Save the date! The government is seeking your feedback to transform the Malaysian economy. Visit the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) Open Day on 21st September at PWTC.

The Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) is the culmination of a substantial body of work to transform Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2020, building on the 10th Malaysia Plan, the New Economic Model and the principles of 1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now.

PEMANDU organised a workshop in May where over 1,000 key representatives from the public and private sectors identified economic areas that Malaysia should focus on, to increase our Gross National Income (GNI) per capita from RM 23,700 (US$ 6,700) to RM48,000 (US$15,000). These National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) are drivers of economic activities that have the potential to directly and materially contribute a quantifiable amount of economic growth to the economy. Following the workshop, a series of 12 NKEA laboratories (labs) were held involving over 500 participants from the private and public sectors. The labs were held through June and July, and mapped out concrete strategies, plans and initiatives to transform the nation into a high-income economy that is sustainable and inclusive.

Open days will be in held Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, to showcase the results of the NKEA labs and to obtain feedback from the rakyat. Details for the Kuala Lumpur Open Day are as follows:

Economic Transformation Programme Open Day
Date: Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Venue: Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur

9:00 am – 5.00 pm: NKEA Exhibition, Hall 4, Level 4
11:00 am – 12:00 pm: CEO Forum – "Economic Transformation Programme: The View from the Private Sector"

A Point Man On Reform

Idris Jala has another mission: repair not just a flag carrier but, more broadly, Malaysia.

Asia ex-Japan is mostly given a pass in the swirling global concerns about sovereign debt, but the region has its worrisome deficit cases, such as India. Add to that roster Malaysia, which means another assignment for national troubleshooter Idris Jala.

As Prime Minister Najib Abdul Raza's designated "driver" of economic and social reform, Jala has been telling government ministries and the public the same thing: If Malaysia did not immediately slash subsidies and make other changes, its government debt of $110 billion could rise to 100% of GDP by 2019.

"When this happens, Malaysia will become bankrupt. We do not want to become another Greece," he said. Najib has since said "prudent" measures are being taken to reduce public debt. (These aren't yet slated to change much.)

Transformation is 52-year-old Jala's specialty. As chief executive he led the spectacular turnaround of the national carrier, Malaysian Airline System (MAS). When he took the helm in late 2005, on leaving a top post at a Shell oil affiliate, MAS was bleeding cash and had losses to the tune of $400 million. He wasted no time eliminating thousands of jobs and brutally terminating unprofitable routes. These were unpopular decisions, but two years later MAS emerged--before the recession--with record earnings of $260 million.

Jala's work did not go unnoticed. He was approached by Najib, then new to the pm job, to join the civil service. He says, "It was also time for me to leave MAS because the team can do the job. My successor (Tengku Azmil Zahruddin Raja Abdul Aziz) is a great person and had been groomed to take over. Leadership is about being redundant."

The prime minister, who took over a faltering alliance that has ruled Malaysia since independence, evidently isn't keen on a redundancy when voters get another shot in parliamentary elections in 2012 or 2013. Thus, the call to Jala to assume his ministerial-level post and senatorial status.

His new reform agenda extends well beyond disciplining the welter of public subsidies and other budget busters. He is also tasked with addressing crime, corruption and falling educational standards. Recently FORBES ASIA sat down with Jala in Kuala Lumpur to ask about his efforts.

Forbes Asia: The prime minister unveiled a new economic model. What is your role in making this a reality?

Jala: We'll run labs involving key sectors like oil and gas, tourism and palm oil. In the tourism lab, for example, we'll discuss how to double tourism receipts in ten years. We have persuaded the private sector to nominate their best and brightest minds to spend time with us full-time at the labs and to come up with solutions.

Several pressure groups like Perkasa, a group that claims to champion Malay rights, want affirmative action to stay. At the same time, the government talks about further liberalizing the economy. How does the government manage different interests?

For one Malaysia to exist we must embrace and accept the different polarities like the Bumiputeras (Malays and indigenous people) versus non-Bumiputeras. We need to allow people to express their views differently and appreciate that there will be tension. You can't fix the problem by removing one polarity, as it'll destabilize the system.

What is being done to address corruption in Malaysia?

The Witness Protection Act has been approved by Parliament. From our rough estimate based on publicly available data, there were 120 offenders convicted since the beginning of this year, including one member of parliament, representing a total of $530 million in cash bribes. We've not caught any big fish yet. We're also tackling corruption in procurement, with details on 2,665 government contract awards published on a procurement website set up by the Ministry of Finance. Transparency is good, and we will keep doing this.

Eighty percent of Malaysians have only a high school degree or less. What is being done to raise educational standards?

We have started 929 preschool classes--18,000 children are benefiting from this, mainly in rural areas. Fifteen thousand remedial teachers have been trained. And 7,616 primary schools have been ranked to focus on results. There are questions on why the government reversed its decision to teach mathematics and science in English. Korea is successful teaching these subjects in the Korean language because they have quality teachers. In the labs we ran we concluded the problem in Malaysia was the quality of teaching. So we must focus on that before we talk about medium of instruction. This was a tough call. The government was advised that rural children have difficulties understanding English. When implementing policies, you have to identify who the majority is or who is most impacted by your policies, not those who make the loudest noise. This has been my biggest challenge since joining the civil service.

Reforms on subsidies for petrol and utilities are needed to reduce Malaysia's fiscal deficit. That's going to require political will. How are you going to approach this problem?

Nobody will dance in the streets if you tell them you're going to withdraw subsidies. This is one of my biggest challenges. Last year total subsidies were $23 billion. This is 4% to 5% of GDP, higher than in countries like Indonesia and the Philippines. We have to scale back to reinvest in other areas of the economy to become a high-income nation. Subsidies have to be withdrawn gradually rather than in a big-bang approach.

And what of the crime problem?

Crime has been rising for the last three years, but we managed to bring the index crime rate down by 15% and reported street crime rate by 40% in the first quarter of 2010, compared with the same period last year. We spent six weeks collecting data to find out why and where crime happens and ran labs, very intense sessions, to find solutions. Among many measures, we mobilized 14,200 police officers to 50 hot spots, and the police have to explain and report on a weekly basis to the prime minister on what they're doing to reduce crime. Street crime has been reduced but not organized crime. The latter remains high because they're syndicated.

Much of Malaysia is still rural ...

Rural basic infrastructure also saw big improvements. The government is spending more money than ever on this. About 400 kilometers of roads were completed in the first quarter and another 350 are under construction. Eight hundred and eighty-four households were connected with water supply and 347 with electricity. I went with the prime minister to Sarawak on a trip to launch an electricity project. The people living in the longhouses [traditional native homes] were very grateful for this. It was quite an emotional event for me. I called my wife, and told her "Even for this alone, I'm grateful I joined the government." These people ask for very little.

How do you transform the civil service and get it to act with more urgency?

We have to change the way we do things in order to transform character. Ambitious targets have to be set to force people to radically change the way they work. When we published that we want to reduce crime by 20%, people asked if I was crazy, but we managed to bring crime down. The prime minister is hands-on and chairs monthly delivery task force meetings. I hold weekly problem-solving meetings with various ministers, who set their targets, which are published in a book for accountability.

Any recipe for staying focused?

Helen Keller said, "Keep your face to the sunshine and you'll never see shadows." I have no difficulties doing something that won't succeed. The thing I ask myself is whether I did my best and whether that's good enough. It's a very liberating mindset. You have to see this as a calling, not a job.

Source: Forbes Asia

Chinese businesses grill Jala on economic reform

KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister Departement Idris Jala was greeted with cynicism from Chinese businesses apparently sceptical towards the government's "grand" reform efforts.
Many of those participanting in the MCA-organised Chinese Economic Congress here today wanted to know if the government has the politicial will to implement the various new economic initiatives under the Najib administration's New Economic Model (NEM).
There were also signs that the vigorous campaigning efforts to promote the NEM, a model Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak claimed would elevate Malaysia from its shoddy middle-income economy, have not been succesful when some questioned the need for a high-income economy.

"All the programmes sound good but the hard part is the execution: how to implement the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) and the NEM. The public perception is that the public sector is corrupt and incompetent. Is there political will to change this?" asked one participant.

Another participant criticised the contradictory policy of the Najib administration: on the one hand, it promotes free trade but on the other, it practises interventionist policy.

For example, he said because of its interventionist policy, prices of basic goods had increased, thus hindering their profits.

"Businesses are like this: not everyday is a Sunday. Sometimes we make more and have to save it for a rainy day. So when there are times to make money, we want to. If you want free trade, make sure it goes all the way," said the participant.

Another took the government to task over what he described as poor planning in terms of utilising key sectors to the country's economy such as oil and gas and tourism.

"An example is tourism. My foreign friend asked me where to go, so I told him to visit the museum and to take the rail transport. But there is none that goes straight to the museum. He has to cross the highway... there's no connectivity,” he said.

Another participant had doubts about the willingness of the top leadership to implement thorough reforms. He said one of the key drivers of economic growth is a performance-based stewardship.

Hence, he questioned if the government is willing to replace none-performing leaders given that their appointments are politically-driven.
Idris maintains reform on its way
Despite the apparent scepticism, Jala, who heads the government reform task force Pemandu, said the various laboratories held on government reform initiatives showed that confidence in the Najib administration's reform pledges remains high.

He cited the drastic reduction in street crime as one of the six major national key results identified by the Najib government.

"Yes I understand that the people are sceptical if we can deliver but look at the reduction in street crime. I believe, with the right stewardship, we can deliver," he said, adding that Najib himself is personally overseeing the reform efforst by chairing the task force's monthly meeting.

He also said that not all reform initiatives required political will in a bid to quell fears that the nation's economic overhaul programmes may be stalled by politics.

Najib has been on a vigorous offensive charm, promoting tirelessly his NEM and economic reform initiatives, in a bid to win the hearts and minds of the sceptical electorate.

But his flip-flop on policies such as the contradictory position on Bumiputera corporate equity quota have left businesses and investors doubting his reform pledges.

Najib may be all fired up to sell his liberal brand of economy but today's event shows scepticism still persists.
Source: By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

Idris Jala’s subsidy proposals

KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — In an effort to save Malaysia from becoming bankrupt within the decade, Datuk Seri Idris Jala today proposed several major steps to better manage the government’s growing spending on subsidies.

Idris Jala Subsidy Proposal
Among the suggestions include slashing subsidies for 12 items, which would see prices hiking for petrol, diesel, gas, electricity, sugar and flour, among other staples over the next five years.

But Idris also recommended handing cash rebates directly to consumers to offset the burden on the poor, similar to the practice mooted by the former domestic trade minister Datuk Shahrir Samad during the Abdullah administration.

Big savings could be seen only if the government focused on the “big ticket items”, stressed the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department heading the Government Transformation Plan (GTP).
The CEO of Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) said his think tank had polled nearly 200,000 Malaysians via a text messaging system and found over 60 per cent were in favour of subsidy cuts and for the government to do it within the next three to five years.

He said it would cutting down on subsidies would save the government RM103 billion over the next five years.

“This does not mean we have more money to spend, but will help cut debt so we will not become another Greece where our national debt equals our GDP,” Idris said.

He further warned the cuts would be highly unpopular with voters but must be done if Malaysia is to avoid becoming another Greece, referring to the European nation sagging under the burden of a €300 billion (RM1.21 billion)debt.

“This is the most unpopular decision the government has to make since Independence,” Idris admitted today at a public forum here to present ideas to better manage the subsidy system.

Idris Jala Savings

Source: MalaysiaInsider

Datuk Seri Idris Jala answers your 10 questions

1. What has been the biggest obstacle so far in implementing the Government Transformation Programme (GTP)? Jalina Hassan, Kuantan
The biggest challenge is to get the Government to achieve “big results fast”. When we ran the GTP Open Day, over 80% agreed that this was the right thing to do. However, the public was very sceptical. Someone cynically said: “Government civil servants and speed do not sleep in the same bed.” We realise that the rakyat is impatient for results but with the GTP Roadmap, we have clear direction and targets.

We have made significant progress in the first quarter of this year. Street crime has dropped 39.6% as compared to our initial target of 20% reduction by end 2010. We have mobilised 14,222 police officers into 50 hot spots and 3,150 RELA and JPAM members too.

For the urban public transport, we have seen an increase of 938,775 passengers for the light rail transit (LRT) in just three months after installing eight new four-car trains. For the hardcore poor, we have seen a massive reduction of more than 12,000 people in this country, which have been taken out from the hardcore poor category. These show that the civil servants can run and get things done quickly.

2. What are the common approaches that you’ve put in place in the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) that you also had in MAS or Shell? James Rajan, Ipoh
We introduced what the Government is now very familiar with, called Laboratories or labs. When I was in MAS, we ran over 200 labs to develop solutions.

The first GTP labs for the six National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) were conducted in Sept-Oct over six weeks and was made up of 250 top civil servants and representatives from the private and social sectors. During that period – and I’m sure what I’m about to say will surprise – the civil servants took on their tasks faster than the people in MAS and Shell. They were very eager and enthusiastic.

3. Has the recent crisis of confidence facing the police following the shooting of a 14-year-old boy had a serious dent in your transformation efforts? Kesavan Murthy, Penang
First and foremost, the nation is saddened by the death of Aminulrasyid Amzah in a most unfortunate incident. I personally would like to express my deepest sympathy to his family.

In the true spirit of transparency, an independent panel overseeing the investigation has been appointed and we should let the experts take their course of action instead of speculating. The Home Ministry and the police are still tasked to deliver their specific targets to the rakyat via the crime NKRA. There are early signs of positive achievements.

While statistics show significant progress in crime reduction, it would be naive to think that such an isolated incident has not affected public confidence and perception of the police force.

To me, despite this, the police have been doing a fantastic job. I really hope we, as concerned citizens, will not be easily lured into discussions on isolated cases that may alter our perceptions on the other positive things that the Government is doing.

4. What progress has been made so far? Kevin Loh, Penang
The GTP is delivering very visible and tangible outcomes. To fight corruption, we have put in place the Whistleblower Protection Act, published 2,665 government contract award winners at MyProcurement Portal, implemented the Integrity Pact (as recommended by Transparency International) and published the 97 convicted offenders on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s website.

Ridership for bus express transit and LRT has increased by 13% and 7% respectively. In education, 929 pre-schools have started and 7,616 primary schools nationwide have been ranked.

The School Improvement Toolkit has also been implemented to address various weaknesses. The Government has also reduced the number of hardcore poor by providing them with financial aid.

Rural basic infrastructures are currently being developed and by 2012, we would have more than 7,000km of new and upgraded roads, 1,900km of which will be in Sabah and Sarawak.

There will also be 50,000 houses to be built and restored, 140,000 households will be connected with electricity and 360,000 homes to be connected to clean water.

Public transportation upgrades will decongest the central business district in Kuala Lumpur, reducing the time taken to travel into our city centres. More than 40,000 flood mitigation projects are already underway. These are just some of the key national initiatives underway.

5. Somehow, many assume that you are a Muslim. Any memorable encounters with regards to this ignorance? Rashidah Ibrahim, Petaling Jaya
Many years ago, my family and I lived in Subang Jaya. My neighbour, thinking I was a Muslim, invited me to a tahlil, on the occasion of sending their son for further studies in the UK.

As a friendly and respecting neighbour, I accepted the invitation and joined them. During the religious ceremony, many people at the event were shocked to discover that I was in fact, a Christian. It was a memorable experience as I thought the tahlil was quite similar to the tribal send-off we practise in the longhouses. During the Ramadan period, I usually get stares when I’m dining publicly. Apart from Christmas greeting cards, I also get Hari Raya cards.

6. What improvements would you like to see in our education system? Zuhairah Ali, KL
We must take big steps. Statistics show that 40% of students who enter primary 1 have not been to kindergarten. This means there is an evident disparity in the level of understanding as well as skill sets of children.

This is why our NKRA for education is working on the foundation to ensure a lot more young children attend pre-school. As of January this year, 18,000 children have benefitted from 929 new pre-schools. The education NKRA is also operationalising other initiatives such as the ranking of 7,616 primary schools and coming up with a toolkit known as School Improvement Programme (SIP). The SIP will anchor recommendations and action plans by the schools into four key levers – principals, teachers, students and facilities.

7. Your success in turning around big corporates is inspiring. I will be pursuing my tertiary education next year. What’s your advice on my course selection and future career path? Filzah Razak, Johor Baru
Simple – do something that you have a passion for and act on it. Always leverage on your strengths. Don’t get too obsessed with your weakness.

I have two children, Leon and Max and both have different strengths and capabilities. Leon followed his passion and chose to do film studies in London. I have never once considered dictating or painting an ideal future for him. He will be graduating this July and I am proud of him.

The point here is this – if you feel strongly about something, put your thoughts and actions together and strive for it. Do not get distracted or demoralised by views or opinions.

8. How are the objectives related to the key performance indicators (KPIs) communicated to the ground? As for underachievers, how do you address these “failures”? Tam Yeng Siang, Petaling Jaya
The performance and delivery of the six NKRAs and 29 Ministerial Key Result Areas are assessed annually and bi-annually.

So far, out of 29 ministries, 85% have achieved their KPI targets. This is the first time in the history of Malaysia that the ministers are subjected to the rigorous performance assessment by the Prime Minister. The Government will consider performance-based remuneration in the near future to recognise and award the performers.

Consequence management will be in place to tackle poor performers. To ensure the transformation programme is sustainable, you do not focus on punishment as a starting point. You focus on rewarding the performers, and the rest will follow. As for the public, we will publish an annual report each year that will highlight the results of the GTP – what we have and have not achieved.

9. What kind of legacy do you want to leave and what inspires you to do better in life? V. Suresh, Johor Baru
Although the main focus is to get the desired results, I am also inspired to see people grow as leaders in the process. Honestly, that is what truly inspires and energises me.

I like to share this famous quote by John Ruskins – “The greatest reward from a man’s toil is not what he gets from it, but what he becomes of it.”

The transformation will give birth to new leaders from the civil service who have surfaced from the labs. When you allow for a safe environment where people can discuss and debate openly, you will discover hidden talents and potential leaders. When you know that your troops are fully matured as a leader and know how to operate or run the company, it’s time to go. This is where you transit from taking a very directive leadership stance to an empowering approach.

10. How different is it to work in the Government compared with the private sector? Johan Abdullah, KL
I have worked for 28 years in the corporate world. Now, for the first time, I don’t need to improve the profit and loss (P&L) of a company or department. In MAS and Shell, I was accountable to improve bottomline, hence I religiously reviewed the P&L statement every day.

In the Government, you focus on services or initiatives to improve the outcome for the rakyat. KPI for the government is to benefit the rakyat. The same transformation methodology is applied but the anchor are the outcomes and KPI.

There are obvious differences in the culture. At Shell, we speak our minds. Having been in that environment for 23 years and moving to MAS for three years and eight months was an adjustment. But the MAS experience was invaluable to me especially in this job. We have to learn to be tactful in our approach while not compromising our integrity.

In Shell and MAS, we know precisely our customer and target customer segments. In the government, although we look after the rakyat, we sometimes struggle to answer this one question – “Who is the rakyat?”. There are a lot of polarities that exists which we need to manage – rich vs poor, urban vs rural, educated vs less educated, old vs young, etc.

What we found at times is that the majority of the rakyat is also the silent majority. We can also be easily distracted by isolated issues by minority groups. So, it is not always clear cut.

Source: TheStar

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Interview with Datuk Seri Idris Jala on BFM

Government Transformation Program (GTP) - In Part 1, Datuk Seri Idris Jala, CEO Of Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) talks about changing the Malay mindset, bureaucracy, convincing disillusioned Malaysians of the government's poor record in successful implementation, how he has tweaked transformation principles from the private sector to the public sector, penalties for non-performance in the government and faults with the government procurement website. Duration: 11m 44s

In Part 2, Datuk Seri Idris Jala, CEO Of Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) talks about political will, key result areas like crime, corruption, the Whistleblower Protection Act, KPIs and education. Duration: 17m 43s

In Part 3, Datuk Seri Idris Jala, CEO Of Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) talks about affirmative action, the New Economic Model, per-capita income targets, tourist arrivals and the AirAsia X-MAS tussle, and whether there is a constructive role the media can participate in. Duration: 21m 58s

Source: BFM - The Business Radio 89.9