(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): I welcome the announcement by the Special Functions Minister and Executive Director for the National Economic Action Council (NEAC), Tun Daim Zainuddin, that the NEAC would provide a fortnightly progress report on the implementation of recommendations stated in the National Economic Recovery Plan (NERP).
The NERP fortnightly reports on the progress of the plans to revive the economy would be released to the media on the first and third Tuesday of each month.
Special Functions Minister and NEAC executive director Tun Daim Zainuddin said the NERP involved an ongoing process of implementation.
"By releasing reports, Malaysians can keep track of the government's continuous efforts and commitment to bring about speedy recovery,'' he said.
He reiterated that urgency in implementing the NEAC recommendations was vital for success as "is the unity and support of the people.''
"I hope that by confirming our determination to implement positive actions for economic recovery, confidence in Malaysia will be bolstered,'' he added.
I welcome the NEACís announcement for it shows that at least the NEAC is monitoring proposals and suggestions about the NERP made by the DAP.
At the Malaysian Social Science Association forum on "Economic Crisis: Until When?" held at the University of Malaya on 12th August 1998, I had called on the NEAC to issue weekly public reports on the progress of the NERP.
This was because immediately after the NERP was announced, the Prime Minister said that the Government will implement most of the recommendations of the NEAC in full unless specific objections are raised.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the Government will ensure all recommendations of the NEAC are implemented according to schedule and hastened if possible, and that weekly meetings to gauge the progress of the six-point plan recommended by the NEAC would be held if necessary.
As a first step to make the NERP a Peopleís Plan to fight the worst economic crisis facing the nation, the NEAC should issue a list of the NERP proposals and recommendations which have been accepted by the government, so that citizen groups can also assist in the check-and-balance work on the government.
Can the NEAC issue a full list of recommendations that have been made by the NEAC, and what are the recommendations in the NERP which the government has accepted for implementation.
It is most regrettable that up to now, MPs have not received copies of the NERP, nor is it available publicly. As the NERP is supposed to be the economic salvation blueprint for Malaysia after 14months of worst economic crisis, there can be no excuse why the NERP has not been made easily accessible to the public although it is now four weeks since its announcement.
DAP MPs will seek an appointment with the NEAC executive director, Tun Daim Zainuddin, to find out more details about the NERP and also to ascertain whether the NEAC is working on a Second NERP in view of the failure of the NERP released on July 23 to kickstart the economy, restore market confidence or check a runaway deterioration of the Malaysian economy.