KUCHING: The second Asian Public Governance Forum (APG) on Regulatory Reform was a good exercise to promote more changes in conducting businesses.
The two-day conference, which focused on improving productivity through regulatory coherence and good practices, was a joint effort by the Sarawak government, Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Korea Policy Centre.
State secretary Tan Sri Morshidi Abdul Ghani said the forum allowed delegates from the Asian countries to learn from each other as it was an effort to develop the capacity to make use of good regulatory practices.
“South Korea is among the OECD countries that had been able to achieve quantum leap in productivity due to innovative changes in regulations,” said Morshidi during his opening remarks at the APG.
He said efficient service delivery was the end product of regulatory reform, and the government should be careful not to impose unjustified regulatory requirements as it would reduced productivity and increase cost of doing business.
“Regulators should continuously analyse existing regulations to examine whether they remain justified and whether they should be modified or streamlined in light of changed circumstances including rise of new technologies.
“We are looking at Asian regulatory reforms. The government requires more effort to ensure that our processes, innovations, procedures and government regulations need to be reduced in terms of time, execution, cost and how this reform brings about changes to the quality of life of the people,” he said.
Participants of the APG included international practitioners, policy makers and researchers with expertise in regulatory policy from Asia, Australia, Russia and Germany. The participants took part in in-depth discussions concerning regulatory policy.
OECD Korea Policy Centre public governance programme director general Park Deok Soo said instead of having regulations, they were more interested in having good regulations.
“I believe that no regulation is the best solution. Finding the well fitting solution regulation for each government and country is the most important factor than having good governance,” said Park.
Park said the forum allowed participants to share the research outputs of the OECD member countries and the successful cases and lessons that Asian countries could emulate for their own growth and development.
In collaboration with MPC, the Sarawak state government has completed a project on Modernising Business Licensing which saw 88 business licences being reformed through reduced processing time, eliminating unnecessary supporting documents and overlapping requirement towards better business environment.
Morshidi said the project was estimated to generate about RM10mil in regulatory cost savings from the implementation of the recommended changes.
This year, both parties will embark on strengthening the rule making process as part of moving closer towards good regulatory practices and reducing uncertainties regarding implementation of regulatory reform principles.