KUALA LUMPUR: A panel of 28 experts from diverse backgrounds have been appointed by the Local Government Development Ministry to advise on programmes and policies that will make for great urban environments and liveable cities.
Its minister Nga Kor Ming said the appointment is a strategic initiative to gather the knowledge, experience and expertise of various parties to determine the best initiatives.
“I believe with the service and advice that they provide, we will be able to craft policies which are comprehensive, viable, humane and ensure the wellbeing of the people and country,” he said after handing over the appointment letters to the panel members at a hotel here yesterday.
“I believe even though they come from different backgrounds, each one of them has a common similarity, which is their patriotism. This is national service,” he added.
The panel, led by former Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Khairul Adib Abd Rahman, will serve on a pro bono basis.
“We have experts from institutions such as Khazanah Research Institute, House Buyers Association, Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda), Malaysian Bar, Bursa Malaysia, the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), Association of Banks Malaysia, academicians and others,” he said.
“I also call on the ministry’s officers to take advantage of the panel members’ expertise,” he said, adding that officials should not hesitate to tap this pool of expertise.
The panel’s input, he said, will be brought to the consideration of stakeholders to ensure that issues related to the ministry are resolved in a strategic and orderly manner.
He also encouraged the panel to hold meetings on a quarterly basis, at the least.
Nga said the panel of 25 members set up last year focused mainly on housing issues, while the expanded line-up announced yesterday covers more areas as the ministry’s core duties span across several areas including sustainability, town planning, fire and rescue as well as solid waste management.
“That is why we believe it is important we expand so that we get a fair and balanced view. We have chosen Rehda but at the same time did not neglect the National House Buyers Association.
“We do not just listen to one side, we listen to everyone,” he added.
On the visit by Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB) officials, he said HDB is regarded as one of the best public housing boards in the world that needs no further introduction, and hoped the matter will not be turned into an “unnecessary political issue”.
“Of course, we want to learn from the best, regardless of who they are and where they come from. Whoever is the best. I would like to learn from them,” he said.
“Today’s appointment is the strongest testimony that we not only learn from foreign talent. We never forget that Malaysia also has talent. That is why 28 of them are with us today,” he added.
The panel members include former Bursa Malaysia chairman and former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, Star Media Group adviser Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, senior lawyer and member of Malaysian Aviation Commission Datuk Roger Tan, EcoWorld Development Group Bhd deputy president and deputy CEO Datuk Seri Sundararajoo Somu, Think City managing director Hamdan Abdul Majeed, Perdana ParkCity Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Joseph Lau and SL Ng and Associates CEO Datuk Ng Seing Liong.