Malaysia is set for next stage of progress

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KEY new features have been introduced to take us into the next stage of transformation while consolidating achievements made

How time flies! It seems like it was only yesterday when we embarked on the transformation programme but three years have passed rather quickly. Yes, we are pleased with the overall achievement by both the individual NKRAs and collectively, the MKRAs (www.pemandu.gov.my) but there are still lots to do.

That’s as it should be because a programme for transformation changes too. It moves with the times and the objectives also change as we achieve some of them and put others on our list. It may be clichd but it is true when we say that change is the only constant.

We started work in 2009 and launched the first transformation programme in January 2010 to cover the years 2010-2012. The new government transformation programme is simply called GTP 2.0 and will cover the years 2013-2015.

A lot of hard work has gone into and is going into the fleshing out of the new programme of transformation. We conducted labs involving 500 people from April-May this year which resulted in eight reports totalling over 4,000 pages, 126 initiatives and 116 proposed key performance indicators.

We have asked the public to give their feedback after making presentations in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching during the recent GTP open days. These and others will be incorporated into the programme roadmap when it is finalised.

Despite some of the nay-saying, our intention is to push on and with the help of the rakyat that means you we hope to do our part to continue bringing meaningful change to our country through the GTP 2.0.

There are three broad thrusts in the second programme. First we continue with the initiatives from the first plan that we still need to achieve and to keep it in place, for example maintenance of rural basic infrastructure already built and measures to fight corruption.

Second, we will expand on the success of initiatives in the first three years, for example in education, there is the Teachers Career Package where teachers will be evaluated with a single evaluation instrument and promoted based on performance instead of time-based. In the rural areas, we have water and electrification projects as part of infrastructure development.

Third, we will come up with new ground-breaking initiatives to take us further such as a 21st century village and an online tracking system for police, using the best available technology to do things better. I will elaborate on these shortly.

These will work within the seven broad areas that have been identified for transformation. They are fighting corruption, reducing crime, reducing poverty, enhancing education, improving rural basic infrastructure, improving urban public transport and monitoring the cost of living.

Exciting things

There are a number of very exciting things being planned. Let me give you a sneak preview of just some of them.

In crime, we are introducing an online system for police report tracking. Everyone can track his or her own report from the report number you are given at the time the report is made. It will be possible for you to track your own report in the system to check on progress. This will also indicate that any report made will be reflected in the system, and hence, will add up to the overall crime statistics. This will in itself reflect the transparency in how the police conducts their processes.

Another example of using technology is the MyDistress app specifically developed for smart phones which brings help for those in emergency situations at the press of a button. This basically uses the smart phone’s GPS locator to get the police to your location in your time of need.

This is undergoing tests in Selangor. If you are a Selangor resident or in Selangor a lot, do download the app. It is quite easy to do and very user friendly. Just go to www.mydistress.net to register.

In education, one example is to raise the bar for English teachers and raise proficiency in the language among students. In July 2012, 62,000 English teachers nationwide were tested on their proficiency level and those who do not meet the minimum standard will undergo professional development course conducted by the British Council. We aim to complete this by 2015 with the first 5,000 English teachers starting their course in October 2012.

In the rural development area, we have a new concept called the 21st century village. This is a pilot project to get qualified people to become successful rural-based entrepreneurs. Open to all Malaysian youths, the competition to select the first batch of rural-based entrepreneurs was held in July and saw over 500 entries, out of which 11 winners were selected. Financial assistance will be provided to the winners to carry out their rural-based businesses which in turn will create more job opportunities as well as enhance the rural economy.

Pilot project

Another pilot project is the allocation of up to 35 acres for the development of modern farms. We might build a prefabricated house on the land to save time. The concept is basically integrated farming, including fish culture, chicken and goat rearing and dairy farming in addition to crops. There can be elements of eco tourism too as in farm stays.

The water for the fish ponds can potentially be re-circulated for cultivating high-value agricultural crops such as rock melon through the addition of necessary nutrients. Fertile land can be planted with fruit trees.

We are looking forward to expanding this if the pilot project is successful. This will not only help keep people in rural areas but will also aid the rural folks in terms of food self-sufficiency, raising their incomes and provide rural employment.

In corruption, we have plans to strengthen enforcement, handle the issue of grand corruption and put in place more measures to ensure government procurement is clean and efficient.

All the items in the Auditor-General report will be monitored closely so that remedial actions are implemented. These monitoring reports will be tabled for discussion with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Chief Secretary and the relevant ministries.

Well, these are just some of initiatives being done under the second stage of transformation. A week ago today, I took the oath of office to be sworn in as a senator for a second term. We are pushing forward to ensure that the transformation continues, with more coming up as we go along and you will be kept posted.

  • Datuk Seri Idris Jala is CEO of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. All fair and reasonable comments are most welcome at idrisjala @ pemandu.gov.my – The Star