PETALING JAYA: Performance Management and Delivery Unit chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Seri Idris Jala has been named one of Bloomberg Markets’ “50 Most Influential” people under the “policy maker” category.
The magazine credited the 56-year-old senator with “making it easier to invest and do business in Malaysia as he shapes economic policy meant to help the country catch up to its more-developed neighbours”.
Idris, the former CEO of Malaysia Airlines, has a formidable task as chief implementer of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), an ambitious US$444bil plan to corral the public and private sector in an unprecedented joint effort to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020.
The ETP, the brainchild of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, has helped reverse Malaysia’s flagging private investments and aims to create some 3.3 million jobs.
Idris is also a columnist with The Star, penning the fortnightly column Transformation Unplugged on Monday.
Other names on the list include Paul Singer, CEO of Elliott Management Corp, who pushed Argentina into default and possibly changed how future sovereign debt restructurings will be handled.
Bloomberg Markets said the 70-year-old hedge fund manager took a stand back in 2001 when he refused to accept losses for debt the Argentine government wanted to swap at a discount.
He is today still fighting for full recovery of his bonds, and in the process has tipped Argentina into a second default, with some help from US courts.
On its selection criteria, the magazine said the list was curated based on what they were doing now, rather than past achievements, and almost three-fifths of this year’s list was made up of people who were appearing for the first time.
Some well-known chief executives who made the list under the “corporate power broker” category were General Motors Co’s Mary Barra, maverick investor Warren Buffett, Apple Inc’s Tim Cook, Jack Ma of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and Tesla Motors Inc founder Elon Musk.
Zhou Xiaochuan, the 66-year-old governor of the People’s Bank of China, was recognised for his efforts to clamp down on the country’s ballooning shadow banking.
In the job since 2002, he is the longest-serving central bank chief since the establishment of the People’s Republic, according to Bloomberg Markets.