KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 — Tun Daim Zainuddin today suggested that the government simplifies the way business is conducted for budding entrepreneurs, pointing to the prevalence of red tape in the country still.

Daim said the bureaucracy of ministries and agencies must be reduced to improve the efficiency of delivery and create a simpler way of doing business.

A strong advocate for agriculture and sustainable living, Daim stressed on the importance of improving Malaysia’s agricultural sector during his speech on building a sustainable ecosystem during the Tunku Abdul Rahman Lecture held at Shangri-La hotel today.

He said Malaysia could reduce the total import of agro-food, which exceeded RM52 billion last year, in three years if access to land and finances to run the land was much easier to obtain.


“I’ve suggested there should be a new agency for this sector otherwise it’s overlapping. Too many ministries are involved... even on credit, there are 20 agencies involved. Can you imagine?

“Let’s have a maximum of five. There are too many salaries involved otherwise. In fact, even these agencies are trying to do business and they compete with the rest. If they’re making money then okay, but they’re losing money. Who is paying for all this? We are paying for all these.

“So all these things must stop. At the end of the day, there must be efficiency and people with integrity to run the show. People who are accountable and are honest. There are many of these people out there,” said Daim.


Daim recalled meeting a friend two days ago who said he needed 18 licenses to run the company.

He questioned how can one do business here when there are so many things to do before launching one’s business.

“It’s too bureaucratic. Simplify this. Grants are available and land too. So for example, if there are 100 units (hectares) give them 30 units because it’s good enough. Then later we can take it back.

“The most important thing is to create jobs and reduce unemployment and create the products we want,” Daim added.