Agile Governance Key to TN50

The Prime Minister’s Office has in the past week announced that the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) would commence a two-year transition of the National Transformation Programme (NTP) to the civil service.

PEMANDU was established in 2009 under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Department to monitor the implementation and spearhead progress of the NTP.

The NTP, initiated in 2010, is executed through two further programmes – the Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme.

These programmes are to make Malaysia a nation of high Income Advanced Economy, as stated in Vision 2020 laid out almost three decades ago.

PEMANDU coordinates all ministries in organizing the transformation programmes, supervise the KPI and work standards of Ministers, Ministries and relevant government agencies. The performance of Ministers including myself would be assessed and reviewed twice a year by PEMANDU. This means even Ministers are subject to a report card!

Much has been delivered since the targets were set in 2010 under the NTP. The work has gained global recognition from Harvard University, World Bank and Bloomberg, which acknowledged the remarkable improvements and progress our country has made. According to the announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office, median income for the bottom 40 per cent experienced an increase from RM1 440 a month in 2009, to RM 2 629 in 2014.

Private investment growth has risen from a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5 per cent between 2006 and 2010, to 12.1 per cent between 2011 and 2015. It now adds up to about 65 per cent of total investment in the country, compared to 55 per cent in 2010.

There are many other indicators that show we made progress. However we must also realize that there is a need to look beyond three years. Nine “Strategic Challenges” were identified for Vision 2020.

It is time to develop new goals and action plans for the next three decades.

In science, technology and innovation, governments around the world have devised long-term strategic plans to cope with the rapidly changing technological landscape.

The German government for example, led by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, introduced a high-tech strategy termed “Industrie 4.0” to digitize their manufacturing industry.

Germany prides itself as one of the most competitive manufacturing industries in the world and leading the manufacturing equipment sector. Its strength in the machinery and plant manufacturing industry, and its significant capabilities in IT, embedded systems and automation engineering have positioned it well to respond to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

I have been a consistent and strong advocate of the need to respond to the incoming, inevitable, Fourth Industrial Revolution. The first three industrial revolutions came about resulting from mechanisation, electricity and IT respectively.

5.2.17 Agile Governance Key to TN50
With participants of a discussion on cyber crime at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting last January. Cyber crime is a big concern for both the public and private sectors as the Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds.

Now, the introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT) especially in the manufacturing systems is ushering in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. According to Industrie 4.0, soon, manufacturing plants will incorporate Cyber-Physical Systems where smart machines, storage systems and production facilities can autonomously “talk” to each other and trigger actions.

At a time where we are moving from mass production to mass customisation, smart factories allow individual customer requirements to be met.

Mass customization adds economic value to a product by producing a customised output at the cost of mass production output. This means one-off items can be manufactured profitably.

The dynamic business and engineering processes in Industrie 4.0 could accommodate last-minute changes and disruption in the production; the end-to-end transparency in the manufacturing process would optimise decision-making; Industrie 4.0 would also result in new methods of creating value and novel business models.

During the Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum in Kyoto, Japan, last October, the Fourth Industrial Revolution was heavily discussed in the Japanese’s context. Its economy is undergoing a fundamental structural reform based on IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced robotics.

The Japanese administration has adopted a major policy known as “Super Smart Society” or Society 5.0 through its 5th Science and Technology Basic Plan (2016 – 2020).

The policy is expected to strengthen its public-private partnership and bring about transformation in the manufacturing, logistics, retail, healthcare, transport, finance and public services with the new technological wave.

Japan is one of the world’s fastest aging societies. A 2015 national census reported that elderly people aged 65 and above accounts for 26.7 per cent of the 121.11 million population.

The country has been looking into robots since the 1990s to address its aging population and would continue to explore technological options under the new Society 5.0 policy.

That saying, the advancement of science, technology and innovation of many developed countries such as Germany and Japan can be credited to their agility in governance. They have responded quickly to the dynamism in innovation by devising plans specific to their technological capabilities and local affairs.

Around the world, governments and research agencies have selected 2050 as the year to look forward to.

By 2050, the United Nations predicts that the world population would rise from the current seven billion to 9.6 billion.

By 2050, computer power may increase 1 000-fold. The rate of innovation would slow down.

Solar power may be our largest source of energy. The UK aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent, also by 2050, compared to the levels in 1990.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

It is timely for Malaysians to start thinking and discussing what we desire to see in 2050.

The consultation and dialogues for National Transformation 2050 or TN50 start now; an implementation plan would be laid out by 2019, to sustainably carry on the good progress we have made.


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