Archive for category Good Governance

Acknowledgement by IGP Khalid that “no confidence” move against Najib is neither criminal nor police concern will allow a proper and less inhibited discussion of alternatives to the present Najib administration

The country is sick and in crisis.

Today sees the rout of the Malaysian ringgit which fell to a record 17-year low of 4.26 to a US dollar and another record low of 3.08 against the Singapore dollar.

Malaysia’s foreign exchange reserves fell 19% since the start of the year, dipping below the US$100 billion for the first time last month since 2010, fueling speculation that Bank Negara is digging into the reserves to shore up the currency.

It has fallen to US$94.5 billion on August 14 from US$96.7 billion on July 31.

The lower a country’s forex reserves, the less it is able to do to shore up a sinking currency.

Meanwhile, capital outflows from the country are accelerating, to three times the size of capital investments in the country in Q1.

The reserves slid four times as fast as Indonesia, whose rupiah is the second worst-performing currency in the region. Read the rest of this entry »

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Political funding and transparency: an Islamic perspective

– Maszlee Malik and Musa Mohd Nordin
The Malaysian Insider
21 August 2015

It is widely accepted that the practice of good governance leads to higher investment and growth, hence development. And political accountability has been highly regarded as one of the sine qua non elements in the governance equation.

Transparency in party financing as well as asset disclosure are amongst the crucial characteristics of political accountability in many developed nations.

A myriad of researches and reports have shown that the lack of openness in money and politics has often contributed to the corruption of political finance.

Thus, policymakers aspiring for sustainable national development must seriously address the transparency of money in politics. Read the rest of this entry »

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Political leaders can meet and discuss Mahathir’s interesting proposition to see how far it could advance the cause of “Save Malaysia”

(Scroll down for English text)

Pemimpin-pemimpin politik boleh bertemu dan membincangkan cadangan menarik Mahathir untuk melihat sejauh mana ia boleh membawa kepada matlamat “Menyelamatkan Malaysia”

Pada Mac tahun ini, saya telah menyarankan agar rakyat Malaysia mengumpul keberanian untuk memikirkan perkara-perkara yang tidak terfikirkan, termasuk membayangkan kemunculan seorang Perdana Menteri baru dan gabungan kerajaan baru sebelum Pilihanraya Umum ke-14 dalam tempoh tiga tahun ini bagi “Menyelamatkan Malaysia”, mempertahankan Perlembagaan Malaysia, kedaulatan undang-undang dan membentuk urus tadbir yang baik.

Menerusi beberapa kenyataan media dan ucapan sepanjang Mac dan April, saya telah membincangkan kemungkinan wujudnya satu pakatan besar “Menyelamatkan Malaysia” pasca-BN dan pasca-PR.

Saya juga telah menyatakan dengan jelas bahawa jika pakatan besar “Menyelamatkan Malaysia” pasca-BN dan pasca-PR itu dibentuk, ia mestilah tidak terhad kepada hanya kaum atau agama tertentu tetapi meliputi semua kaum, agama, dan daerah, atau dalam ungkapan lain, sebuah kerajaan gabungan yang jamak-kaum, jamak-agama dan jamak-daerah, meliputi Muslim dan bukan-Muslim, Melayu dan bukan-Melayu, serta warga Malaysia dari Semenanjung Malaysia, Sarawak dan Sabah.

Gabungan itu juga mesti melampaui pakatan dan parti politik sedia ada, merangkumi Ahli-Ahli Parlimen dari kedua-dua kubu politik dan juga kedua-dua sisi Laut Cina Selatan, iaitu meliputi Sabah, Sarawak dan Semenanjung Malaysia, bagi mempertahankan perlembagaan dan kedaulatan undang-undang dengan seorang Perdana Menteri baru dan sebuah kerajaan Malaysia yang baru. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sustaining strong institutions for clean gov’t

By Group of 25
Aug 19, 2015

COMMENT The success of the transformation and development of the Malaysian economy and its financial system has been primarily due to an empowering legal framework and sound institutions that operate on structured processes and with strong accountabilities, underpinned by a good governance framework.

Malaysia is indebted to visionary leaders whose dedicated focus and emphasis on building strong institutions have provided the foundation to support the development of the Malaysian economy.

These institutions continue to be led by strong leaders with a vision, a culture of integrity and competence which is imbued with values and virtues of hard work and prudence. This institutional framework has been the most important aspect of the growth and resilience of the economy today.

The ‘invisible hand’ does not work, by itself: it requires help from the rules of the game which govern how the market and its participants interact with each other. Institutional quality not only has a significantly positive impact upon income per capita, but it is also positively auto-correlated with the level of economic integration and trade (Rodrik & Subramanian 2003).

An improvement in institutional quality raises GDP directly, as well as promotes closer integration into the global economy, hence, enabling the economy to benefit from international trade and foreign investment flows. The auto-correlation also implies that higher national income and exposure to developed markets tend to lead to demand for improved institutions, thus enforcing a benign cycle. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib badly served by the world’s worst but probably most expensive media communications strategists as witnessed by the “dud” of the National Consultative Committee on Political Funding

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is badly served by the world’s worst but probably most expensive media communications strategists as witnessed by the “dud” of the National Consultative Committee on Political Funding.

Those responsible for mooting the idea of National Consultative Committee on Political Funding at this stage deserve to be sacked immediately, as only the naïve and the dim-witted could believe that this is the best timing for the Prime Minister to surface such a proposal.

Those who convinced Najib to go public on this idea at this stage must have sold the Prime Minister with the argument that this was a panacea for Najib’s recent woes, pushing to the backstage the twin scandals of 1MDB and RM2.6 billion deposit into Najib’s personal bank accounts, which had haunted the Prime Minister for months, but even more tempting, allow Najib to go from the defensive to the offensive against opposition parties – by taking a moral ground vis-à-vis his critics and dissenters.

But only the naïve and the nincompoop could fail to see that this is the worst possible timing to surface the proposal of a National Consultative Council on Political Funding, and in fact, may even be inviting a death certificate for the idea.

This is because with Najib’s failure to uphold accountability and transparency in the two biggest scandals in the nation’s history, the RM42 billion 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion deposited in Najib’s personal accounts in AmBank in March 2013 just before dissolution of Parliament and holding of 13th General Election, the Prime Minister has lost all moral authority to talk about transparency and integrity in political funding. Read the rest of this entry »

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First thing Najib should do this morning is to countermand the transfer orders to two MACC directors Bahri and Rohaizad to PM’s Dept with immediate effect

The first thing the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should do this morning is to countermand yesterday’s transfer orders to two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) directors, Datuk Bahri Mohamad Zin (special operations division) and Datuk Rohaizad Yaakob (strategic communications division) to the Prime Minister’s Department with immediate effect, for the duo to report to the PM’s Office on Monday.

The biggest financial scandal in the country, the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal which Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said may have exceeded RM50 billion by now because of the turmoils of exchange and interest rates in his last speech to UMNO Cheras Division before he was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister on July 28, 2015, continues to wreak destruction in its wake, and Bahri and Rohaizad are the two latest victims of the 1MDB (1Malaysia Disaster Bhd) catastrophe.

The outrageous, vindictive and vengeful transfer of Bahri and Rohaizad to the PM’s Department cannot stand unless Najib wants to see the total destruction of his entire six-year National Transformation Programmes – which had listed the war against corruption as one of the seven NKRAs (National Key Result Areas) of his Government Transformation Programme (GTP).

For the past six years, the Najib had been boasting about “big results” of its GTP on its anti-corruption front, and undoubtedly the two unchallenged “big results” on the anti-corruption NKRA are the two issues of 1MDB scandal and the RM2.6 billion deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal banking accounts before the 13th General Election.

A multi-agency Special Task Force comprising Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Royal Malaysian Police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) had been formed to spearhead investigations into these twin issues, but these two issues are so toxic they have already subverted and gravely damaged three of these four agencies – BNM, MACC and ABC. Read the rest of this entry »

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An open letter to Paul Low

By Robert Hum
Aug 1, 2015

Mr Paul Low
Malaysian Minister of Integrity and Good governance

Dear Sir

Please allow me to add some comments concerning your press statement of July 31, 2015.

Excerpt from your press statement: “I was brought into the federal cabinet specifically to promote good governance and to strengthen transparency and accountability in the government.”

Firstly the all important concept of good governance involves the rule of law, transparency and accountability.

Mr Low, all of these basic points were missing in the unceremonious dismissal of the attorney-general (AG) on Monday by PM Najib Abdul Razak. The incongruent statement of dismissal of the AG due to ill health by the chief secretary to the government smacks of the arrogance and the contempt of the PM for the office of the AG in order to stay in power at all costs.

There was no rule of law evidenced in the dismissal of the AG who was in the process of leading the investigation into the conduct of the PM concerning 1MDB. On the contrary the AG’s dismissal from office by PM Najib is against natural justice and is a direct interference by the PM who is being investigated. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tribute to Ho Kay Tat and shame to Liow Tiong Lai

The publisher and Group CEO of The Edge Media Group, Ho Kay Tat put it very bluntly that when faced with evidence that what was supposed to be a joint venture that will bring economic benefits to the country turned out to be nothing more than a scheme to scam billions of ringgit from Malaysia by a small group of Malaysians and their foreign partners, the Edge Media Group had two choices:

1) Drop the matter like a hot potato and walk away, or

2) Get hold of everything so that the truth can be uncovered.

To their eternal credit as well as the gratitude of all decent and honest Malaysians who want to be able to hold their heads high in a country where ethical, moral and religious values are not just meant for the pulpits but are the compass of everyday living, the Edge decided to pursue the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

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Citizen Nades – Come clean on issues

R. Nadeswaran
19 July 2015

IN the course of a career spanning over four decades, this writer had the opportunity to meet gang leaders, thieves, drug addicts, rapists and even a murderer. The man who painted the now-demolished Pudu Prison wall – a man convicted for a drug offence – was a regular visitor to the office after his release.

There were also encounters with another “elitist” group including con-sultans, spin-doctors, lobbyists and even bag carriers and cowherds with bags of money masquerading as middlemen.

Like the undertaker who sees everyone as a potential client, the journalist views most people as a source of information. Thus, there is this need to associate with people from varying backgrounds. Information from these sources, which has to be verified, can sometimes lead to a big story.

From a legal standpoint, it is not an offence to meet anyone. Having a coffee or a beer with any of them is no less than having a tete-a-tete with a minister or a senior government official. The principle that “I have a right to choose whom I want to associate with” comes into play.

Therefore, there seems to be a witch-hunt of sorts for those who met former Petro-Saudi official Xavier Justo, now in custody in Thailand. Read the rest of this entry »

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Musa Hitam can be caretaker Prime Minister if agreement can be reached for him to be elected to Parliament in an early by-election or the search should look at other candidates like Tengku Razaleigh or someone from Sabah or Sarawak

Although it is more than a week since the publication in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) previous Friday on July 3 that Malaysian government investigators have found almost US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) deposited into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal accounts at AmBank in March 2013, Najib has failed to answer four simple questions, viz:

*Whether he has three personal accounts in AmBank;

*Whether some US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) of funds were deposited into his personal accounts in 2013 just before the dissolution of Parliament on April 3, 2013 in the run-up to the 13th General Election;

*If so, where the RM2.6 billion came from; and

*Where these RM2.6 billion have gone to.

I call on Najib to publicly answer these questions before Hari Raya, latest in his Hari Raya message, so that the 1MDB will not become the dominant subject during the Hari Raya holidays and in the weeks leading up to the 58th Merdeka anniversary on August 31 and 53rd Malaysia Day anniversary on Sept. 16, 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

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3 questions for new Cabinet

Rama Ramanathan
The Malaysian Insider
9 July 2015

Because of 1Malayisa Development Bhd (1MDB), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must soon vacate his position. His successor will replace the Cabinet. What should we look for in the new Cabinet?

Of the many facts about 1MDB, I consider three to be especially pertinent: (1) the only money 1MDB ever had was borrowed – mainly from banks and partly from government agencies; (2) most of 1MDB’s profit is from revaluation of assets; (3) 1MDB overpaid for some assets.

I’ll consider each in turn. Read the rest of this entry »

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More heads in MARA, including that of Annuar Musa, should roll as the MARA INC property corruption scandal probably cost MARA over RM100 million or more than ten times the total sum and magnitude as initially exposed by The Age

For nine days national attention was transfixed by the roiling MARA property corruption scandal which was blown open by the Australian daily, The Age, on June 23, 2015 with its report “Corrupt Malaysia money distorts Melbourne market”, on the outcome of an eight-month Fairfax Media investigation tracing suspicious money flows, court files and corporate records across three continents as part of a global money laundering and bribery scheme turning Australia into an “investment hot spot for the crooked and corrupt”.

The Fairfax Media investigation had zeroed in on MARA Inc’s purchase of the Dudley House property, and found that “greedy local developers and powerful officials overseas” pocketted A$4.75 million (RM13.8 million) in bribes on this single deal.

But this was only the “tip of an iceberg” of the MARA INC property scams in Melbourne, with the Australian Federal Police swinging into action with Operation Carambola after The Age report, raiding houses and seizing computers and files, while the Malaysian authorities continued its Operation Tidak Apa and Business as Usual, with even the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar declaring that there is no element of criminal breach of trust in the MARA property scams in Australia.

Over the next nine days, Malaysians were in turned troubled and shocked by a series of revelations, including:

*Dudley House was only one of four Melbourne properties purchased by MARA Inc where there was gross improprieties involving corruption, money laundering and tax evasion crimes;

*MARA Chairman Annuar Musa, who visited Melbourne in May last year to be briefed about the MARA Inc purchase of the four Melbourne properties, was remiss and negligent in his duties as MARA Chairman in not taking immediate corrective action to stop the hanky-panky in the MARA Inc property purchase corruption scandal; Read the rest of this entry »

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Annuar Musa should be sacked as MARA Chairman as he had failed the MARA Vision for MARA to be “an outstanding organization of trust, upholding the nation’s pride” and spearhead new breakthroughs for Bumiputeras

The AGE report last Tuesday (23 June) on the MARA Inc. property scams, particularly over the Dudley International House apartment block in Melbourne, which was acquired with A$22.5 million (RM65.4 million) MARA funds, but involving a bribe of A$4.75 million (RM13.8 million), as well as investigations into MARA Inc’s other Australian properties, has opened up a can of worms of abuses of power, criminal breach of trust and corruption in MARA.

I had earlier asked whether Datuk Seri Annuar Musa would resign as MARA Chairman to take responsibility for MARA’s international corruption scandal and to pioneer a culture of responsibility for government leaders and captains of statutory boards and corporations.

In his response on Saturday, Annuar said there was no need for him to quit over the allegations of corruption of MARA’s property purchases in Australia, as his term as MARA chairperson would expire in two weeks’ time.

True, Annuar’s tenure as MARA Chairman ends on July 18, but the events of the past eight days since The Age expose last Tuesday seem to point inexorably to one conclusion: that Annuar should be sacked as MARA Chairman as he has failed the mission entrusted to him to fulfil the MARA Vision to ensure that under his chairmanship, MARA is an “outstanding organization of trust, upholding the nation’s pride” and spearhead new breakthroughs for bumiputeras in the fields of entrepreneurship, education and investment.

The abuses, malpractices and criminal offences in the MARA property scams in Australia are gross violations of the MARA Vision to be “an outstanding organization of trust, upholding the nation’s pride” – as under Annuar‘s chairmanship, MARA has degenerated into a “disgraceful organisation in criminal breach of trust, representing the nation’s shame” not only in Malaysia but in the international arena!

Even worse, the MARA property corruption scandal has dragged into the international mud not only the reputation of MARA, but also the good name of Malaysia and the Federal Government, as well as the professionalism and integrity of the nation’s anti-corruption agency, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). Read the rest of this entry »

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Empire Strikes Back (Part IV) – is the script for 1MDB executives Arul and Shahrol to walk out of PAC hearings, probably escorted by Shafee as their counsel, and boycott of PAC proceedings on 1MDB on the ground that Tony Pua has not stepped down as PAC member?

The highly-paid Public Relations Consultants of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and 1MDB (as Najib is both in law and fact the final approving authority of 1MDB) have gone into an overdrive of offensives since the arrest of former PetroSaudi International (PSI) IT executive, Xavier Andre Justo in Thailand six days ago for attempting to blackmail his former employer on leaked information.

One can already discern four chapters in “The Empire Strikes Back” offensives overdrive:

Chapter 1 – the arrest of the 49-year-old Justo, a Swiss national and former PSI IT executive at around 3 pm on Monday (June 22) at a house in Koh Samui, Thailand with computers, hard drives and other data storage devices.

Chapter 2 – Campaign of demonisation and character-assassination of Justo led by UMNO media like the New Straits Times portraying Justo as a “hedonistic” and “greedy” blackmailer with a photograph of him covered in tattoos on its front-page.

Chapter 3 – Vague and unsubstantiated allegations by Malaysian Cabinet Ministers of tampered leaked information about the 1MDB scandal and threats by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi against the media under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) for reporting “tampered” and inaccurate facts about the 1MDB scandal, again without any substantiation of these allegations.

Are we now in Chapter 4 of “The Empire Strikes Back”, featuring Najib’s choice prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who accomplished the mission to ensure that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is now incarcerated in Sungai Buloh prison as a result of Anwar’s Sodomy II trial. Read the rest of this entry »

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All MARA Council members should collecitlvely resign if they caanot explain why they agreed to the establishment of offshore companies in tax havens to buy properties overseas as if engaged in dubious and dishonourable transactions

Yesterday, MARA Chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa said MARA Council has given its subsidiary, Mara Incorporated Sdn. Bhd (MARA Inc.) seven days to provide a detailed written explanation on all matters pertaining to various property deals in Australia.

Annuar said he wants not only an account of the purchase of the Dudley Street apartment block in Melbourne raised by the Australian newspaper, the Age, but also a report on the various transactions in Australia.

He said a special meeting will be held within the next two weeks to probe this matter and discuss further action, based on the report to be provided to the council by Mara Inc.

What Annuar is doing is too little and too late. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should go on leave as Prime Minister and Finance Minister to allow for a full-fledged investigation into 1MDB by RCI and return to office after he has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should go on leave as Prime Minister and Finance Minister to allow for a full-fledged investigation into the 1MDB by a Royal Commission of Inquiry and return to office after he has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal.

There is no need for Najib to resign as Prime Minister, as proposed by former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir that Najib must first resign as Prime Minister to allow full investigation into the 1MDB finances, and that Najib can come back as Prime Minister to lead the Barisan Nasional in the next election “if no crime can be detected and all the money is returned”.

I agree with Mahathir that so long as Najib is still exercising the office and powers of Prime Minister, no proper investigation can be made.

Mahathir should know as during his 22 years as Prime Minister, there could be no proper investigation into the string of financial scandals estimated to cost the country over RM100 billion under his premiership, simply because Mahathir was during this period the Prime Minister of the day.

I do not think it is necessary for Najib to resign as Prime Minister, as taking extended leave would suffice. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysians’ trust in Putrajaya would have plunge far below 45% into the region of the thirties if the Edelman Trust Barometer survey had been conducted in 2015

It has been reported that the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer survey found that only 45% of Malaysians trusted the government, down from last year’s 54%.

Malaysians’ trust in Putrajaya would have plunged far below 45% into the region of the thirties if the survey had been conducted in the new year of 2015, and not between November 13 and November 24 last year.

If the Trust Survey had been conducted in the new year, it would have to take into account public’s further deteriortion in their trust perceptions on Putrajaya as a result of the following five events: Read the rest of this entry »

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Decentralisation is about effective governance

Published: 20 January 2015
The Malaysian Insider

A recent article I wrote proposing greater decentralisation of powers in Malaysia has managed to attract criticism and attacks by Umno apparatchiks, such as Kepala Batas MP Datuk Seri Reezal Merican and Umno-owned national daily Utusan Malaysia. They said my suggestions were nothing short of an attack on the Federal Constitution and, unsurprisingly, seditious (what isn’t, these days?).

I quickly responded by pointing out the obvious – that there is in fact an explicit provision in the Federal Constitution (Article 76A) that effectively allows the delegation of federal power to state authorities. In other words, decentralisation of powers from the federal to the state is not merely allowed but in fact envisioned by our country’s highest law.

Also, I ridiculed Umno’s hypocrisy on the matter. If it is considered seditious or unconstitutional to devolve powers from the centre to the periphery, then why isn’t it the other way around?
Read the rest of this entry »

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Follow the World Bank procurement guidelines to prevent corruption and abuse

— Koon Yew Yin
The Malay Mail Online
August 2, 2014

AUGUST 2 — The World Bank has procurement guidelines which all the borrowers of Bank funding have to follow. The guidelines include the system of calling tenders. It is a system which has helped to prevent corruption even in the most corrupted countries in the world.

Malaysians are getting fed up with the government’s failure to reform the tender system as well as to check corruption and abuse which is costing us billions of ringgit annually, and bleeding the country’s finances dry.

Although the Government has appointed a minister, Paul Low, to take charge of the implementation of transparency in the government, it is clear that he is getting nowhere. Senator Paul Low has claimed that he is highly motivated in promoting and implementing new transparency procedures in order to curb corruption and cronyism. Well, being motivated is one thing but running around in circles and establishing another layer of bureaucratic smoke and mirrors has been the main outcome of the Minister’s more than one year in office. Read the rest of this entry »

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Crying shame that after four years of GTP1 and GTP2, Najib cannot point to any BFR – Big Fast Results – in the “Fighting Corruption” NKRA to contradict Mahathir’s claim that Malaysia today is more corrupt than during his 22-year premiership 1981-2003

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is ectastic that the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) has been recognized as one of the world’s top 20 leading government innovation teams by United Kingdom’s innovation foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Nesta in its publication on Monday.

He said in his latest posting on his Facebook and Twitter accounts today that
he had established Pemandu in 2009 to support the implementation of the National Transformation Programme with its accompanying Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) to turn Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2020.

It is a crying shame that despite having Pemandu named as one of the world’s top 20 leading government innovation teams, Najib cannot point to any BFR – Big Fast Results – to contradict former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir’s claim that Malaysia today is more corrupt than during his 22-year premiership from 1981-2003.

This is a great pity for “Fighting Corruption” is one of the seven National Key Results Areas (NKRAs) pistons for the GTP engine, which cannot succeed or perform in tip-top condition if the piston to fight corrupt falters and fails. Read the rest of this entry »

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