MCA: Private sector missing from government’s economic council

Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said the National Economic Action Council (NEAC) should have representation from the private sector as well. — Picture by Farhan Najib Yusoff
Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said the National Economic Action Council (NEAC) should have representation from the private sector as well. — Picture by Farhan Najib Yusoff

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — The newly-formed National Economic Action Council (NEAC) should have representation from the private sector as well, MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said today.

While lauding the NEAC as a step in right direction, he said it comprised mainly ministers and a former minister, with the private sector glaringly absent from the line-up.

“Private enterprises are an important part of our economy and employ vast human capital. In addition, e-commerce and the digital economy also play a vital role in the current economic transformation trend.

“Nonetheless, the National Economic Action Council has not appointed any representative from private enterprises nor digital experts,” he said in a statement here today.

Mah said the line-up of mostly ministers lacked freshness and spark.

“I am also of the view of the board composition should cut across political interest and allow more diverse views. It is definitely not feasible to use old formulas in present economy headwinds.

“In the new economic environment, the state cannot follow the old model. Therefore, I hope the government can appoint additional new talents as members of the board to provide fresh impetus,” he said.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced the set-up of the 16-member council last night, which he will chair, that will scrutinise and decide on economic issues.

On the council are Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Azmin Ali, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, International Trade And Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking, former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Works Minister Baru Bian, Permodalan Nasional Berhad chairman Zeti Akhtar Aziz and member of the Council of Eminent Persons, Jomo Kwame Sundaram.

Others include Bursa Malaysia chairman Shireen Ann Zaharah Muhiudeen, Asean Business Advisory Council chairman Tan Sri Munir Majid, Majlis Amanah Rakyat chairman Hasnita Hashim, Public Bank managing director Tay Ah Lek and Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) CEO Paul Selvaraj.