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How transformative is our Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), really?

In 8 short weeks, 12 ‘labs’ comprising 30-50 experts each researched, brainstormed, and devised 131 Entry Point Projects (EPPs) across 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs). What impressive numbers!

But an impression of transformation was probably what all those digits delivered. PEMANDU emphasises the private sector participation in these labs, but REFSA posits that cash-strapped start-up companies cannot afford to release staff for two months to attend labs. On the other hand, large establishments would have the manpower to spare, and may even send experienced lobbyists to promote their pet projects.

Thus, PEMANDU’s EPP pickings are REFSA’s pickle. Start-ups usually have genuinely transformative ideas that revolutionise the status quo, while large companies tend to be less adventurous. If the ETP labs, unwittingly or otherwise, closed out input from the former and only heard voices from the latter, then our economic roadmap is more ‘business as usual’ than transformative.

Read Part 3(ii) of our Critique of the ETP as REFSA raises brows at the programme’s hothouse lab environment.

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REFSA is an independent, not-for-profit research institute providing relevant and reliable information on social, economic and political issues affecting Malaysians with the aim of promoting open and constructive...