A Pecking Order in Policy

Let Nurul Izzah’s merit be earned through efficacy rather than hobble her out the gate simply on prejudice. The game is on, after all, and every able-bodied participant...

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English

Published by Malaysiakini, FocusMalaysia, Malaymail, AstroAwani, TheStar & MYsinchew, image by TheStar.

A lively debate has sprung up on both sides of the political aisle around the appointment of Nurul Izzah as her father’s, that is, the PM’s, economic advisor.

On one side, opposition leaders including former Prime Ministers have criticized the appointment as blatant nepotism, illustrating the hypocrisy between good governance and elite exceptionalism. The soap-box commentators’ views range from cautious reprimand to indignant outrage.

Given that this is an opinion piece, I must state mine up front which is that I find this latter posturing to be ridiculously laughable, especially noting the shaky standing of the pundits proclaiming such “shocked disapproval”.

In the PM’s camp there is the defense that all capable hands are welcome in the heavy work to rebuild a compromised nation, wreaked havoc upon by corruption and mismanagement for more than a decade; while at the same time acknowledging that the look is not ideal, and appears to carry on a worrisome habit of Malaysian Prime Ministers treating the top chair in the land as an inherited family heirloom.

Again, my stated opinion here is that there is no need to prevaricate around a full-throated defense of the PM’s employment of the full range of his arsenal to battle the multiple-front skirmishes for Malaysia’s political, social and economic recovery.

I call it a pecking order in policy. The administration – and it’s titular head – needs to define the hierarchy of tasks ahead in order to face the many challenges of the moment.

I’ve summarized this in a 7-point priority ‘Innovation Agenda’:

1) Promoting social unity across community, creed, and class;

2) Good governance, radical transparency and structural reform of public institutional integrity;

3) Tackling spiralling inflation for basic goods and services;

4) Food security for critical commodities where we are overly dependent on imports;

5) Digital transformation through curation of leap-frog technologies for local use and as a regional ;

6) Adoption of sunrise clean-tech industries such as net zero carbon, EV’s, and sustainable power which will dominate the next growth cycle; and

7) Regenerating high quality inbound FDI in key sectors rather than exporting Malaysian capital abroad for outbound investments.

Any effective tool that can serve its purpose in useful play towards achievement of this Agenda must be fully employed, in my view. Let Nurul Izzah’s merit be earned through efficacy rather than hobble her out the gate simply on prejudice. The game is on, after all, and every able-bodied participant is welcome to join team Malaysia.

As far as whether the top coach in the land is justified in his discretion to choose his own squad, if his intent is to promote the Nation’s cause more than his daughter’s career, then I for one would welcome a play for the silverware. Remember, the last couple of managers didn’t even finish out the season; it’s fair to surmise they would not have begrudged themselves the talent if they had it in their means to score in a few notches on the right side of the ledger.

After all Winston Churchill once said “you will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks”.

Rais Hussin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of EMIR Research, a think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.

Bahasa Malaysia

Beri peluang Nurul Izzah buktikan kemampuan

Diterbitkan oleh Malaysiakini

Pengkritik harus memberi peluang kepada Nurul Izzah Anwar untuk membuktikan kemampuannya selepas dilantik bapanya Anwar Ibrahim sebagai penasihat kanan ekonomi dan kewangan kepada perdana menteri, kata seorang ketua badan pemikir.

Presiden dan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Emir Research Rais Hussin berkata Anwar perlu diberi ruang untuk menggunakan semua sumber yang ada untuk membantu pentadbirannya.

Rais yang juga ahli PKR mengenal pasti tujuh bidang dasar yang menurutnya perlu ditangani Anwar mengikut keutamaan, bermula dengan menggalakkan perpaduan sosial merentas masyarakat, fahaman dan kelas.

“Saya menggelarnya sebagai perintah dalam dasar. Pentadbiran – dan ketuanya – perlu mentakrifkan hierarki tugas di hadapan untuk menghadapi pelbagai cabaran pada masa ini.

“Sejauh mana jurulatih terkemuka di negara ini wajar mengikut budi bicaranya untuk memilih pasukan. Jika niatnya adalah untuk meningkatkan kepentingan negara lebih daripada kerjaya anak perempuannya, maka saya akan mengalu-alukan satu permainan untuk merebut trofi.

“Mana-mana alat berkesan yang boleh memenuhi tujuannya dalam permainan berguna ke arah pencapaian agenda ini mesti digunakan sepenuhnya,” katanya dalam kenyataan, hari ini.

Kata Rais, biarlah merit Nurul Izzah dilihat melalui keberkesanan dan bukan menyingkirkannya semata-mata kerana prejudis.

“Lagipun, ‘permainan’ sedang berjalan, dan setiap peserta yang sihat dialu-alukan untuk menyertai pasukan Malaysia,” ujarnya.

Rais menyorot bagaimana pendahulu Anwar – bekas perdana menteri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Muhyiddin Yassin dan Ismail Sabri Yaakob – tidak mentadbir sehingga habis penggal dengan mendakwa bahawa para pemimpin itu akan mengambil langkah yang sama untuk mengukuhkan kedudukan sendiri jika sempat berbuat demikian.

Terdahulu, kerajaan perpaduan dikritik hebat berikutan dakwaan nepotisme berhubung pelantikan Nurul Izzah.

Dakwaan nepotisme itu dihangatkan lagi dengan dakwaan pelantikan Mohammed Iqbal Johari sebagai pegawai khas kepada bapanya, Speaker Dewan Rakyat Johari Abdul.

Johari kemudian menjelaskan tiada sebarang pelantikan jawatan kerajaan dibuat ke atas anaknya, sekali gus menafikan dia mengamalkan nepotisme.

Johari berkata anak lelakinya yang dipertikaikan itu sudah bekerja untuk dia sejak 14 tahun lalu iaitu sewaktu dia menjadi ahli parlimen Sungai Petani.

Sementara Anwar mempertahankan kelayakan anak perempuannya sebagai penasihat mengenai ekonomi dan kewangan, dengan mengatakan bahawa Nurul Izzah mempunyai ijazah kedua dalam dasar awam dari Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Anwar juga menegaskan bahawa Nurul Izzah tidak dibayar gaji.

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