,PETALING JAYA: With the rollout of government blueprints and economic plans underway, economists say such initiatives should be closely monitored and properly executed to ensure the country’s sustainability. They suggested that a reasonable timeframe be given for the implementation to attain the desired goals. According to AmBank Group chief economist Anthony Dass (pic, below) , the blueprints and plans are vital to steer the economy towards sustainable growth. However, he cautioned that “plans and blueprints can fail.” “This happens when they are not well-integrated into the day-to-day operation and due to the lack of proper implementation, monitoring and coordination at all levels."Poor sharing of information and data could delay the execution or even lead to wrong strategies as well as poor understanding of the steps or concepts. “Failures can be costly to the people, businesses, investors and economy.” Pressure would also mount on government coffers due to wastage, inefficiencies and cost overrun, he noted. Furthermore, there is a need to ensure that the plans and blueprints are effective and yield the desired results. Two blueprints were launched, namely the National Unity and MyDigital this year.CLICK TO ENLARGE The 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025) is also expected to be rolled out soon and economists are not discounting other upcoming economic plans to bolster the domestic economy amid Covid-19 and external headwinds. The MyDigital blueprint (2021-2030), which was unveiled last month, would focus on rolling out the 5G connectivity and enhance the usage of cloud services. It will ensure full adoption of digital signature by the public sector and undertake the implementation of the national digital identity. For the government blueprints and economic plans to be workable, it must be monitored as a day-to-day operation and stock-taking should be done on a weekly basis. Dass cited Vision 2020 and the Multimedia Super Corridor as good plans. “However, these plans did not really meet the government’s vision and objectives, ” he said. There should be an appraisal of the policy environment as well as stakeholders engagement. Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid concurred.While the plans and blueprints are critical to the country’s economy, he added the challenge lies with the execution. The execution risks, he said could come in the form of communication breakdown especially between the government and industry players. “Therefore, a reasonable timeline should be allowed so that there will be a wholesome discussion between the two parties when there are impending changes to be implemented, ” added Afzanizam. He pointed out that some of the initiatives should be reviewed. “They need to optimise their resources so that there would not be wastage and each project would achieve its intended target. “The maintenance culture is extremely critical because each project would require good maintenance. “Otherwise, it will lose its value and the citizens may not be able to capitalise on the infrastructure to the fullest. ”Perhaps, there shouldn’t be too many blueprints. What the country needs are credible plans that can be executed in a timely manner. Keep it simple and practical should be the motto, ” Afzanizam said. Meanwhile, Socio-Economic Research Centre (SERC) executive director Lee Heng Guie (pic below) said investors were eyeing the tabling of the 12th Malaysia Plan, which is the first phase to achieve the Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The 12th Malaysia Plan is expected to incorporate the Digital Economy Blueprint in providing a conducive ecosystem for business investment, micro, small and medium enterprises development, accelerate the adoption of advanced technology and digitalisation, and encourage quality investment by focusing on high-technology activities. “Faced with the limited budget’s balance sheet, Malaysia’s development programmes will be largely funded by domestic borrowings, though some of the lead projects can be fast-tracked through Public-Private Partnership, ” he said.
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