(Petaling Jaya, Friday): The National Economic Action Council (NEAC) should operate with greater openness and transparency, announce the full membership of its five-man executive council and present a report of the progress of its four-point commission in the form of a White Paper in next month's Parliament.
The formation of the NEAC was first announced three months ago, and it had its first meeting one month ago, but up to now, very little is known about its operations and progress.
The five-man NEAC Executive Council is the country's most powerful decision-making body on economic policies for the country, even more powerful than the Cabinet and the NEAC, but Malaysians do not know who are all the members of this super-powerful economic council. What is even more worrying is that it appears to be accountable to no one else.
What has been announced is that the NEAC Executive Council comprises the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the executive director and two members to be appointed by the Prime Minister.
Have these two members of the NEAC Executive Council been appointed and if so, are there reasons not to disclose their identities to the Malaysian public? How many times have the NEAC Executive Council met and is it operating with three members or five members?
There has been no report that the NEAC had held a second meeting since its first meeting on January 22, 1998, which would reinforce the view that at this juncture, the power centre as far as economic policy decision-making in the country is neither the Cabinet nor even the NEAC, but the NEAC Executive Council and the NEAC Executive Director, Tun Daim Zainuddin.
As executive director, Tun Daim Zainuddin is empowered to co-ordinate all activities of the relevant authorities in reviving the national economy, formulate and implement strategies to ensure that the objectives of the NEAC are attained as well as chair the working committee on aspects critical to reviving investor confidence and strengthening the national economy.
As three months have passed since the first announcement of the establishment of the NEAC, Malaysians are entitled to know what progress the NEAC has made with regard to the four tasks it has been entrusted, namely: