Tuesday, July 5, 2011

GTP & ETP Update

I spent this morning at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center listening to Idris Jala talking about progress on the ETP. Beyond admiring his salesmanship skills, there was actually some real substance to the presentation.


Based on what I’ve seen so far, there’s been some pretty impressive progress made even if you see the ETP as a fundamentally flawed exercise. There are obvious gaps and shortcomings in the scope of the ETP, but that would be true of any development plan. What’s clear though is that taken on its own merits, Pemandu has managed to overcome one of the greatest obstacles any strategic plan has to face – implementation and monitoring. On both counts, what’s been done over the last 8 months or so is an incredible achievement.

I don’t want to gloss over some of the less than convincing metrics used and achievements proclaimed (technical and vocational education is not where it should be, for example), but those shouldn’t detract from the fact that for the most part things are in fact moving.

There’s also been some progress on the GTP front too, though I’ve been informed that that happened in the face of considerable internal opposition, as might be expected.

More importantly, we’ve finally found the answer to the question: What happened to the NEM? Well, today we found out – of the 51 policy recommendations, 14 are being adopted by some of the existing NKEAs under the ETP. The remainder will fall under 6 new Strategic Reform Initiatives (SRIs). So now we have three different programs (and acronyms) to track. But the SRIs really cover many of the long term necessary ingredients for Malaysia to sustain as a high income nation, that have been missing from the ETP. There’s already been some progress here even before today, but the SRI’s provide a convenient structural framework for implementation.

I’m beginning to understand the rationale of this multi-track approach, and why the initial emphasis was on the more easily implemented corporate investment programs. Quite apart from getting in the concrete and structural reforms needed, there was also the need (sorry, management speak) to get buy-in and initiate culture change. In other words, basic change management - you have to get people behind the program to have any chance of success. And it’s easier to do that if you have early success stories to point to.

I continue to be troubled by some of the fundamental gaps in all these programs, but then I never thought the NEM or ETP was strictly necessary towards achieving a high income economy.

The exhibition hall was used to outline in detail progress in each area, more than I could even reasonably outline in a blog post, so I’ll update this post if and when more details are available.

1 comment:

  1. We are using a failed model as evidenced by MAS transformation by the same Idris Jala that have regressed MAS to its 1994 value i.e a turnaround that turned back the clock by 17 years.
    And whats more unsettling is the failure to address structural issues in MAS case;renewal of fleet that left MAS with oldest n least efficient planes compared to its peers.
    Thats the way ETP is going.
    Frankenstein was created in a lab.And can you recall jerry lewis Nutty Professor in his labcoat.
    Msia must take note to avert a disaster.