KUALA LUMPUR: The government and the people must be ready to make difficult decisions and accept them for the long-term benefit of the nation, says Tun Daim Zainuddin, chairman of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP).
He said that there were no quick solutions to the problems identified by the CEP and that there are still many challenges.
Daim announced yesterday that the CEP had completed its mandate and a report with recommendations from the council would be presented to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, after his return from China.
Three core themes formed the recommendations of the Council and focused on the need to improve the governance, the well-being of people and the need to make the economy inclusive and sustainable. Daim told a press conference yesterday after the completion of the council council's 100 days mandate on August 19.
The CEP was established by the Prime Minister on 12 May with the aim of advising him on socio-economic and financial matters.
Daim said that the first part of the council recommendation was about governance issues and institutional reforms looking at areas of parliamentary reforms, appointment of judges, concentration of executive powers, abolition of oppressive legislation, reform of government agencies, human rights law, as well as communication and media.
"The recommendations include measures to strengthen the independence of Malaysia's central institutions and improve their respective governance framework with the aim of ending the era of widespread corruption and abuse of power that has plagued the country," Daim said.
He added that although the Council became aware of the weaknesses in the financial situation and the level of poor governance in government and government agencies, it did not expect the magnitude and severity of the problems to be "this grave."
"None of us thought it would be so penetrating and systemic," he added.
The CEP has also looked at ways to tackle multidimensional poverty and imbalances in society and ways to improve programs and policies that are essential to people's well-being.
The recommendations focused, inter alia, on issues related to poverty, inequality and measures to reduce the cost of living, such as the affordability of housing, fuel subsidy, social protection, the former 1Malaysia People & # 39; s Aid (BR1M) and toll .
Daim said on the basis of the Board's assessment that the current excessive focus on cash payments did not promote upward social and economic mobility.
"The cash assistance provided is disproportionately large compared to the initiatives for prevention and upgrading of skills.
"Moreover, it tends to create a culture that depends on aid, especially among young and single people," he said.
The recommendations also looked at the Bumiputera agenda, which he said can not be viewed in isolation because it is part of the national agenda.
It is not in contradiction with the national agenda of inclusiveness and economic well-being for all Malaysians.
"Any program that is proposed and developed should not be at the expense of economic growth nor at the expense of other social groups.
"We want to do well this time," Daim said.
One of the CEP's most important recommendations on how to grow an economy that is inclusive and sustainable is the development of a new framework for investment incentives with the aim of reducing the structural decline of the economy.
"This requires replacing irrelevant existing incentives with new ones that are result-oriented and promote sustainable and inclusive growth," said Daim.
The council also looked at matters relating to fiscal management of the nation, with an emphasis on the importance of a responsible, effective and sustainable fiscal policy.
The tax reforms were intended to strengthen fiscal discipline and accountability, especially in debt management.
The report suggested ways to increase revenue and to redesign tax policies to ensure that it was progressive, fair and balanced.
We also looked at ways to optimize spending, with an emphasis on efficiency and reducing leakages.
The CEP consists of former Minister of Finance Daim, former governor of Bank Negara Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petronas CEO Tan Sri Hassan Marican, tycoon Robert Kuok and economist dr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram.
Daim said over the course of 100 days, the board met with more than 350 individuals from more than 200 organizations, ranging from regulatory enforcement agencies, bankers, trade associations, chambers of commerce, corporations, SMEs, consumers, producers, retailers, contractors, taxi drivers, street vendors, farmers, activists, artists, NGOs, the community with disabilities and many other stakeholders.
He added that after the formation of a full cabinet, the CEP had also worked in consultation with the relevant ministries to get their input and feedback, where necessary.