Sunday, July 18, 2021

Economic Action Council presents independent reset plan by secretariats for crisis recovery

It says it is raising the suggestions formed in a study by its secretariats for consideration by the government, in tandem with the National Recovery Plan.

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The Economic Action Council (EAC) today reported the findings of a study conducted over the past year on a possible reset for the country amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

EAC executive director Noor Azlan Ghazali said the study, by the council’s secretariats, was presented for the government’s consideration as an economy recovery plan in tandem with the National Recovery Plan announced by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin earlier this week.

“We merely raised this plan to see whether it is appropriate to be adopted by Malaysia,” he said at a press conference today.

“I believe while we are recovering, we must restructure. Recovery without reform is a waste.”

The study, titled “Resetting Malaysia: Aligning to the New Economic Landscape”, was carried out over a year from April 2020 to May 2021.

It recommends eight agendas covering 30 focus areas and 152 reset initiatives.

These include embracing the digital economy, promoting technology adoption and advancement, positioning for a shifting global landscape, and promoting shared responsibility, good governance and sustainability.

In terms of preparing the future workforce, the study suggested introducing a dual assessment system for students and for national exams to be detached from school performance assessments.

For higher education, it suggested introducing government reforms to review university fees to match these with fair cost and programme quality as well as to revisit university performance assessment frameworks to align with missions of employability and industry policies.

It proposed embracing the digital economy involving micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), education programmes as well as government services.

Plans for this include the creation of a national task force to address cross-ministry complexities related to the development of the gig economy, and a nationwide campaign for MSMEs to adopt digital and smart technologies with scheduled operational targets.

Noor Azlan said the plan was “semi-official” as the suggestions were merely the findings of a study independently conducted by the EAC secretariats and taking into consideration the views of private stakeholders, communities and NGOs.

“The pandemic basically reveals these issues strongly and urges Malaysia that we must make changes.

“In line with the National Recovery Plan, we would like to put forward these recommendations for the consideration of the government,” he said.

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