Perak – A Developed State By 2015

By James Gough

Perak Amanjaya, the Silver State’s own comprehensive transformation plan, is to be launched in January next year. Its aim is to achieve a developed state status by 2015. Conceived last year, the plan which has been touted as the plan for the future development of the state outlined three main objectives:  Quality Opportunities, Quality Income and Quality Living.

Perak Amanjaya was put together by a think-tank, Institute Darul Ridzwan (IDR), which was set up by Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Zambry Abdul Kader in May, last year.

Zambry admitted that he had “contemplated for some time”, possibly as early as 2005 when he was then state executive councillor and chairman of the Education Committee, Human Resources and Information Technology, the setting up of the think-tank explaining that most of the developed states “have an institution that determines the policies to implement.”

(l-r) IDR Chief Executive Aminudin Hashim and IDR Strategic Comm Director Roslan

Long Vision
“When I came in I needed to know the big picture, the base lines and the barriers in order to take the state to the next level. I did not want to work like “patchwork” but with a long vision.”  The role of IDR is that of an independent body tasked to establish a think-tank to look at improving socio-economic policies, propose innovative policies and implement the best strategies to make Perak a developed state by 2015.

Assisting Zambry to achieve his vision is IDR’s Chief Executive, Aminuddin Hashim, 40, a Chartered Management Accountant with 15 years of experience in Management Consulting and Corporate Analysis. “I wanted a young and energetic professional with forward vision and intellectual capabilities,” added Zambry.

Green Light Given
This resulted in the plan being materialised and subsequently forwarded to the Economic Planning Unit and was “given the green-light” by the federal government in February, this year. At a media briefing last month IDR’s Aminuddin explained the concept of Perak Amanjaya.

Perak Amanjaya was named by Zambry to reflect the state government’s commitment to bring peace, stability, progress and development to Perak.

The rationale behind its 3Q’s objective is to have a peaceful surrounding in order to succeed. “There is no point in having a high income and a posh home if crime is high and pollution is a problem,” stressed Aminuddin.

Plan Perak Amanjaya. 3Qs and 7 KRAs

– Quality Opportunities are to prepare the people with the necessary skills whenever a job opportunity presents itself.
– Quality Income refers to improving the salary levels in the state similar to Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Achieving this will enable Perakeans to obtain greater purchasing power in a cost competitive living environment.
– Quality Living is the creation of a peaceful, crime free as well as a controlled pollution free environment to enable the development of quality individuals.

Amanjaya Implementation Structure

Input Sought
When formulating the plan Aminuddin actually met with government departments, NGOs and communities to get their input. The 3Qs’ goals may sound Utopian. Hence there are seven Key Result Areas (KRA) stipulated in order to achieve the goals of the 3Qs which covers:

1. Equitable Development and Distribution: Raising living standards of low-income households.
2. Skilled, Ethical and Knowledgeable Society: Improving Student outcomes.
3. Strong, Catalytic and Inclusive Government: Improving government delivery system.
4. Network of infrastructure and public facilities: Improving basic rural infra-structure.
5. Participative youth and social harmony: Improving youth knowledge and survival.
6. Vibrant public sector: Improving investment and business eco-system.
7. Eco-friendly and sustainable development: Improving quality of living and urban public transport.

For each KRA, the respective government agencies responsible for achieving its goals are indicated. Currently ‘laboratory-cum workshops’ are being conducted with the KRA members to explain the plan’s vision and mission.

When formulating the plan IDR considered the total landscape of the state identifying a state still rich in natural resources that had the advantage of vast infrastructure with over 200km of the North-South Expressway passing through it, a long railway line, the Perak River and a long coastline.

The 3D Regional Growth Plan

Regional Growth Plan
The plan also proposed a Regional Growth Plan identifying five economic zones i.e. Hulu Perak, Beriah Valley, Manjung and Ulu Bernam with Kinta Valley in the centre and consisting of nine growth corridors in between these zones.

According to Aminuddin this “3D Regional Growth Plan” is part of the World Bank “Reshaping Economic Geography” model whose 3D goal is aimed at “Reducing Distance, Creating Density and Narrowing Division” for the purpose of speeding-up development.

Confidence Factor
With such a comprehensive plan is Zambry confident of achieving the 2015 goal of being a developed state? ”Well I have a dream to achieve the goal by then though realistically it will be some time after that but before 2020. We can anticipate economic hurdles but we have to work with the plan and not ‘patchwork analysis’ to achieve the desired goal,” he said. When asked if the long entrenched bureaucratic barrier was considered a hurdle, Zambry responded positively describing it as a ‘reality of the system’. However the issue was addressed through engagement in workshops and seminars. Zambry added that “the KRA labs too are a form of engagement to align the service providers to the goal of Perak Amanjaya. Everyone has to play their role in order to achieve the goal.”

Alignment with NKEA and 10th Malaysia Plan
At the recent one-day Perak Economic Council meeting which was held to align the federal government’s NKEA (National Key Economic Areas) and the 10th Malaysia Plan with the states throughout the country, Perak Amanjaya was able to immediately highlight the disconnects between the two plans whereby three of the states’ strongest sectors, namely; palm oil, tourism and, electrical and electronics were “mysteriously” left out from the federal plan.

The Perak Economic Council meeting is a result of Perak Amanjaya and was its maiden meeting. Coincidentally, Perak Amanjaya’s plan is structured similar to the NKEA and 10MP plans presented by PEMANDU (Performance Management and Delivery Unit) of the Prime Minister’s Department) which made it a snapshot to align the state plan against the federal plan.

MIcro Credit Recipient during Hari Raya
Infra Bina Receipient receiving the key to his house

Results Being Felt
Indeed the results of Perak Amanjaya are already being felt. Another product of Perak Amanjaya is Yayasan Bina Upaya, the Empowerment Foundation tasked to empower the poor and underprivileged and create opportunities for them to upgrade their living standard. The core of the foundation’s activities is micro-credit financing. Other programmes conducted by the foundation include house repair and building for the less fortunate and motivational seminars for exam taking students. Since its inception late last year there have been 69 recipients of micro credit loans and 20 recipients receiving aid to improve their homes. Loan values range from RM1,000 to RM20,000.

Undoubtedly the outcome of Perak Amanjaya is beginning to show results despite being relatively new. More importantly though the structure and the strategy being implemented to proliferate the plan show long term sustainability.

We, Perakeans have experienced several administrations proposing glorified development plans. After several years though, the “plans” simply vanished. Hopefully with Zambry’s team of energetic intellectuals and his “no patchwork analysis strategy,” Perak Amanjaya will indeed achieve its goal.

12 thoughts on “Perak – A Developed State By 2015

  1. As a concerned Ipohhites, I will support your effort to develop Ipoh, it’s a good move Mister Chief Minister, however as I have instituted before, do focus and curb on malpractice, Little Napoleans and corruptions.

    For a start, do pop in Kampung DBI in Buntong to help these poor fellows who are neglected by the authority to clear the overrun with lalang in the living areas.

    They tired to hand over a memorandum to U, however its not that easy to reach the Chief Minister these days. Thus they had some shortcomings before finally reach the MB’s special assistant Mr. Zulkifly Abdullah.

    What these simple residents of Kg DBI is seeking for is a simple matter that should have been done without seeking by the DBI. DBI should perform their duties without being told. We want to develop Perak, we need to develop our staffs first. No point having high rise buildings with fourth class mentality workers.

    Preach an practice first. Do it!

  2. I also initially thought that AmanJaya was a new township or administrative center like PutraJaya. Then I found out that it was the name of a new development plan. AmanJaya is long on generalities and very short on specifics on how to achieve its objectives. Many of the objectives are subjective and difficult to gauge effectiveness and success. The many meetings and labs have yet translated into impactful development programs. YBU’s micro-credit loan program is commendable but some of YBU’s projects lately seem to be political, such as providing funds (to BN parties) to renovate/rebuild old broken down houses.

  3. IDR is not completely a joke; it’s utter madness! How many of Perakians understand the so-called “web circles of qualities” lauded by IDR? Not even the pakciks and makciks (including myself) understand where it’s going. First, it was the PerakMaju 2015. Now, Perak Amanjaya. At first, I thought Perak Amanjaya is another new “township” in Perak. Then again, another useless bullocks by an accountant who knows rubbish about economy. Talking about economy, how many people know their purchasing power? How many have Perak exported throughout the years? How is the state GDP now? What is the breakline of minimum income? Before IDR can come out with some (I stress the word “some”) good ideas which are implementable, throw out the accountant (besides death, taxes also will haunt you) and get a suitable Perakian that knows the ins and outs of Perak.

    For info, he’s getting a huge monthly salary of RM35k (he drives a black Toyota Harrier with KL number plates and a white brand new BMW 3-series, also with matching 525 KL number plates).

    From me, I’ll just say: “Dude, get your facts and figures right or I’ll kick your sorry mind out of Perak, once and for all for giving us this bullocks!”.

  4. FYI, one of my overseas relatives wondered why all the secondary 1 & 2 students not using the whole day session school system. Perak is a very big state (compare to their home country) and has a lot of spaces and yet cannot accommodate the students to utilise their morning hours with valuable education activities. How to improve youth’s intellectual capabilities when all the young ones (especially the teenagers still need to monitor) are force to stay at home (alone at times due to working parents/sometimes one of the parent need to quit their job just to monitor them) just waiting for their afternoon session. Sad to say, very unproductive and will only produce poor time management students. On top of that, how to improve family harmony when these students will only come back around 7 or 8pm at times.

    Helpless and busy parents

  5. IDR Perak the thinktank developing the implementation model for the Amanjaya Development Plan is a complete joke. They are totally unprofessional and have no clue about socio-economic development whatsoever. They are a hole in the taxpayers pocket!
    Just look at their website: ‘To facilitate achieving the objective, the Board of Directors has appointed Encik Aminuddin Hashim, a United Kingdom trained accountant (CIMA) who has vast experience in Consultancy for the State of Perak, as the Chief Executive of the Company.’
    How is employing an accountant (!) going to help with socio-economic development? In what schoolbook on socio-economic development did you find that? Does he have any proven qualifications and a track record to help achieve these objectives? An accountant is only good for one thing: ‘creative’ accounting, i.e. you pay the money from the government to the thinktank do nothing but look busy and then send the monies back into your own pocked somehow.
    The Perak vision is much too ambitious to be ever achieved by outsourcing the key questions to a think thank…it does not matrer if it 2015 or 2020: you need to attract billions of investment to achieve the anticipated developments.
    How can that ever work by sending a thinktank delegation on travels around the world? To have them write a report and feel important to then outsource the consultancy to one of your friends companies abroad?
    All they will do is waste government monies and come back with a set of OECD look-alike performance measures for development,which will never work.
    This is all too obvious cronyism and a very inventive application of the idea of a ThinkTank: to think about how to best tank moneys into their pockets. This development plan is never going to work, sorry!

  6. Developed state in 5 years is not attainable nor is it necessary.

    What’s more important is for us all learn to keep our environment and our toilets clean. Many people need to learn to use toilets properly, private or public, to avoid breakages and shoe marks on the toilet seats and dirt all over. We also need to learn not to throw our rubbish anywhere we like, like picnic spots, from a moving car, and pasar tani and pasar malam.

    Until we do, all achievements are hollow. We will never be recognised as a developed society of human beings.

  7. Mr.Zam, before you work on the developed state by 2015,
    please check the abuses and malpractices in both the federal and state government, departments, agencies and statutory bodies.

    I fully support your efforts but malpractice and maladministration in all sectors have to be curbed, then plan for 2015 and work your plan.

  8. Perak can’t even solve the transportation problems and yet want to be a developed state by 2015.I say,learn how to crawl first before starting to run.Anyway,come GE13,all plans will be shelved.Mark my words.

  9. A developed state in the next 4 years ????

    People get real please. Please make your definitions of a “developed state”.

    What does this mean exactly ? Identify it before making such statements.

  10. To be honest, it is just another stupid institute and transformation plan that will end up wasting time and resources ($$$) to turn Ipoh/Perak into a future State. These people have got no idea what a strategic plan is all about. Before looking into the future with great initiatives and impactful transformation, let’s fix what was left behind first – airport, local public transport system (so much to learn from Penang) and urban development planning – it is about time to strategically design our cities with a focus on old town and CBD with high rises for future commercial development. I have got no idea what Ipoh was classified as “City” – clearly, it is no way close to a full definition of CITY in the OECD!

    If Ipoh still remains the way it is for the next few years – the city or State will end up with a bunch of retirees (no offence) and all the great young talents will flee Ipoh for better career options and lives.

    I hate to see Ipoh – such a promising place (with ample rich resources (both natural and human capital) to turn herself into a useless place. I must admit I left Ipoh and be separated with my family (not my first choice) for the primary reason to look for better career in the future.

    These so called “visionary, energetic professional with forward vision and intellectual capabilities”, you better live up to expectations and deliver what you promise or propose to this beautiful city.

    The local infrastructures do not help promote ex-residents to come home (esp. those living overseas – excluding those residing in Thailand or Singapore – but those across the ocean and need a decent airport to travel home, not via KLIA with additional land travel for another 3 hours). It is such a pain and time consuming trip to go to back to Ipoh!

    Please do something about before it’s too LATE.

    Concerned ex- Ipohite

  11. A Developed State by 2015? By whose standard? OECD? Do you think that we are able to comply 32 indicators which include economy,social,infrastructure,environment and administration of OECD just like Melaka!Having achieved Melaka Maju 2010,they are now moving towards Negeri Bandar Teknologi Hijau.They say goodbye to Melaka Unesco World Heritage Site.
    Here we are still grappling to get Ipoh listed by Unesco.Melaka Bandar Bersejarah no more.
    A challenge for you Dato Sri CM.

  12. I say forget about the preoccupation on becoming “a developed state by 2015”. This is just statistical manipulation. When we have one person who has RM5 million and four who have only RM10,000, can we say that everyone is a millionaire?

    There is a big disparity in costs and standard of living between the urban and rural population. Urban residents say earning RM2,000/month is not enough while rural folks often get less than RM300/month. In this sense, how does being developed change this situation? Is five (short) years enough to achieve the goal?

    Yes, we should aspire for development. But we shouldn’t glorify in it. There is no point because there is so much to do and it is never-ending.

    It was Zambry and the IDR CEO who came up with KPerak 2010 ICT Blueprint. How much progress and how many objectives in this Blueprint have been achieved so far, now that 2010 is almost to end?

    We have to wait a bit more to see what is really get done. It would also be interesting to find out who will carry out the work. IDR can’t because it is a think-tank and carrying out work would be a conflict of interests. PKNP lacks fund to develop Bandar Meru Raya, what more undertake new developments.

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