KUALA LUMPUR: The Government should relook the New Economic Model (NEM) to drive Malaysia towards achieving developed nation status, suggested Global Movement of Moderates chief executive officer Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said the NEM was lacking as it was not inclusive enough.
“The Government will do well to relaunch the NEM,” Saifuddin said at the Malaysia Strategic Outlook Conference organised by the Asian Strategic and Leadership Institute (Asli).
He was on a panel which discussed “Malaysia’s new politics – What next after GE13 and party elections?”. Also on the panel were former MCA vice-president Gan Ping Sieu, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar and Johor DAP chief Liew Chin Tong.
Nurul Izzah said that when the NEM was first unveiled to MPs in 2010, the Opposition was unnerved as there wasn’t much of it that could be criticised.
“But then Perkasa intervened, and (the original) NEM was shelved,” she claimed.
Saifuddin also spoke of the need for more government and economic transformations, and hoped to see bipartisan governance.
“I would love to see the Government and the Opposition sitting at the table to discuss fundamental policies such as education and delineation of electoral constituencies.
“Also, can we migrate from race-based policies to needs-based policies?” he asked.
Gan stressed on the importance of a shared vision to achieve the nation’s destiny.
He also said Barisan Nasional has not been “inclusive enough” and that the Barisan decision-making process was flawed.
“If your own allies (component parties) don’t buy in your reforms, how are you going to convince others?” he said.
Liew expected the state of economy to be a hot topic among members of the public this year, saying the Government was not pursuing the right policies.
“All the price hikes will diminish the disposable income of the bottom 60% (of wage earners),” he said, adding that it would be timely to have a full-time Finance Minister.
Currently, Najib also holds the position of Finance Minister.