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It was fashioned along the US President's Council of Economic Advisors and its main task then was to formulate a New Economic Model (NEM) “that will transform Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2020.” It was formed in May 2009 and was chaired by (Tan Sri) Amirsham Abdul Aziz, a former banker. He was later made a Senator and Minister.
The Council completed its mandate officially on 31 May 2010. A two-part report was published in March and December 2010 respectively. Implementation of policy measures recommended by the NEAC is undertaken by the relevant government agencies under the coordination of the all powerful Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) under the stewardship of a former oil executive, (Datuk Seri) Idris Jala.
There has not been much improvement to economy since the launch of the NEM and it is now in danger of floundering.
Mounting Bad News
As his own leadership is weighted down the 1MDB scandal and the growing evidence of criminal wrongdoings, Mohd Najib formed another economic taskforce.
Ironically this taskforce was formed just days after his administration dismantled the taskforce that was in the midst of investigating the 1MDB scandal.
But it appears that this taskforce isn’t as highly positioned as the NEAC. It only has the status of a committee. This new bureaucratic establishment is called the Special Economic Committee (SEC) and is headed by Senator (Datuk Seri) Abdul Wahid Omar, also a former banker.
Other members in the 10-men committee are former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Economic Planning Unit Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Khazanah head Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, economist Tan Sri Andrew Sheng, Tan Sri Azman Yahya, CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Tun Razak, Datuk Seri Dr K. Govindan, Prof Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali, Datuk Abdul Farid Alias and Datuk Seri Saw Choo Boon.
I always wonder if bankers make good government economic managers. These are a people of dollar and cents, bottom lines and profits. In the case of Amirsham and Abdul Wahid they were not businessmen. They were executives and had never taken risk with their own money.