Some Quick Bytes On The NCER
I wanted to resume my blogging on something else, but thought to do a 'quick' commentary on a current economic mego-project first. The Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) - a new mega project - was launched yesterday. Some observations:
- I am quite supportive of the agricultural modernisation thrust, only such efforts tend to result in employment reducing in the agricultural sector! So, is there a real engine for alternative employment in place, or is government again hoping to rely on infrastructure projects on the outset?
- The strategic plan is actually better thought out than the SJER/WPI was. Probably the result of more time, effort and more considered input from people who know what they are talking about. Outside of the Seeds R&D and waste materials businesses though, I find the plan has nothing new and earth-shaking, or as Dato' Marina Mahathir would say,"Kurang Merah". The plan is actually just conventionally sound.
- Can't help but note quirk no 1 being the 'Halal Hub'. This concept is still unclear to many people in Malaysia, let alone investors globally. It detracts from the Malaysian Halal brand even, giving people cause to wonder why Malaysia needs 'Halal Hubs' if its Halal certification is the best around.
- Nice maneuvering of Gurun as an 'Automotive Hub' (quirk no 2) with incentives in the NCER plan referring also to the failed National Automotive Policy (NAP). Continuing to help SM Nasimuddin's family at Naza we see... I hope not at the expense of Proton again...
- Quirk 3 appears in page 14 of the pdf doc on this link http://thestar.com.my/archives/2007/7/30/nation/northernCorridor.pdf where the IMT-GT (Indonesia Malaysia Thailand -Growth Triangle) is incorrectly drawn, such as to exclude much of Thailand but include Singapore instead! Is this the Singapore friendly 4th Floor's contribution to the document?
- I expressed before of the government's over-reliance on Sime Darby's competency. Firstly, Sime Darby's meant to lead the 'Synergy Drive' effort. It has to continue to deliver as a conglomerate. It was even touted as a Proton saviour. It is also meant to continue to lead the effort for the NCER. Will something give?
The verdict is nonetheless a big tick compared to efforts of the past efforts by the Lah-ist regime. Thankfully, as they can't convert the NCER name to refer to 3 Sultans simultaneously (at least my non-Oxbridge brain can't!) and as they are also not likely to involve the outdated walking PR disaster that is Musa Derhaka in this, they should be able to avoid boo-boos that continue to dog the ever-unfortunate SJER.
Will Tun Dr M be considered to chair the committee equivalent to Musa's down south?