The task force, which reports directly to him, is tasked with the responsibility to facilitate business and overhaul archaic and unnecessary licensing and bureaucratic procedures.
The task force will be jointly headed by chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan and, from the private sector, by Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president, Datuk Yong Poh Kon.
Other members include:
- Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam;
- Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Izzuddin Dali;
- PM’s Department Implementation Co-ordination Unit director- general Tan Sri Khalid Ramli;
- International Trade and Industry secretary-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Mamat;
- Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu) director-general Datuk Yaacob Hussin;
- Natural Resources and Environment Ministry secretary-general Datuk Suboh Mohd Yasin;
- Housing and Local Government Ministry secretary-general Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail;
- Human Resources Ministry secretary-general Datuk Thomas George M.S. George; Federal Territories Ministry secretary-general Datuk Ahmad Pheisal Talib;
- Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida) director- general Datuk R. Karunakaran;
- Small-Medium Industries Development Corporation (Smidec) chief executive Hafsah Hashim;
- Local Government Department director-general Datin Arpah Abdul Razak.
- American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce past president Datuk Nicholas S. Zeffreys;
- Malaysian Employers Federation president Datuk Azman Shah Harun;
- Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mike Krishnan;
- National Council of Commerce and Industry deputy president Pardip Kumar Kukreja;
- Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers board member Dr Andy Seo;
- Symphony House Group Bhd chief executive Datuk Azman Yahya;
- Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd deputy executive chairman Datuk Seri Wan Zaki Wan Muda;
- Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce Economic Research Unit head Chua Tia Guan;
- Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam, executive chairman of the Kelang Multi Terminal Sdn Bhd
The task force has been mandated to identify and recommend necessary steps to change procedures, rules and laws which will make conducting business much easier.The first job of the task force is to review issues affecting delivery systems in local governments to make them more efficient, responsive and business-friendly.
While the creation of the task force should be lauded, there are several issues which must be clarified:
- First, what is the time frame given to the task force to come out with their recommendations? 6 months, 1 year or 2 years?
- The structure of the task force is not much different from the past National Economic Action Councils - very high level. But if the problem is with the implementation, who can the task force ensure that the 1.2 million civil servants will follow their recommendations to the zee?
- It is obvious that the task force role is merely advisory. They do not have an executive power to hear cases involving failed implementations which can be caused by negligence, ineffectiveness or lack of skills, corruption and others.
- Once the recommendations are made, how long does the government expect the weaknesses can be corrected? Looking at the present condition, the task force set-up and the tasks at hand, the government should not expect any changes within the next 24 months at least.
Finally, the government must take into cognisance that it should not promise what it cannot deliver e.g. the IPCMC. Otherwise, the reverse impact of this initiative may backfire on the government's true intention and be branded as a mere PR campaign. The last few days of NST headlines have suffered from the same perception.