The Malay Mail, March 27th, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government Transformation Programme (GTP) launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in April 2009 has been well received by the public as it realised the 1Malaysia Concept: People First, Performance Now.

According to the 2010 GTP Annual Report issued by the Prime Minister’s Department, feedback showed that the community felt the programme took into account all aspects of their needs and wants.

Six National Key Result Areas (NKRA) listed under the GTP, which are improving urban public transportation, raising the living standards of people in low-income households, combating crime, fighting corruption, improving student performance in education and intensifying the development of rural basic infrastructure.

Among those who benefitted from the GTP was taxi driver Rasamanickam Devan, 65, who felt the government had made many changes, such as in education.

“In terms of education, it has improved the most. My daughter is now an engineer because she easily got a loan.

“I would say the prime minister has done a good job. The quality of life, the economy and work opportunities have improved.

“The prime minister has put in place, policies which provide everyone a chance to make a living, including myself, or else I would not even get a chance to drive a taxi,” he noted.

A private college student, Nursyazwana Sadri, said the government’s efforts to improve public transportation was something to be commended, especially with the women-only buses and trains.

“For me, education has improved by leaps and bounds, and facilities in public education institutions have improved. Now, with the government’s skills-training programmes, I think everyone has a chance to get a job even with increasing competitiveness,” she said.

Student Lee Jing Wen said she had seen much improvement, especially in terms of crime, since the GTP was introduced.

“Overall, there is an improvement in the everyday lives of the public, and crime. I feel more secure now,” she said.

An animal shelter volunteer, Sarah Kuppusamy, said police performance had improved and the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 was also a good step in the right direction.

“Yes, things have improved significantly. Crime, especially, has seen a great improvement because I see policemen on the beat everywhere.

“I want to feel safe when taking public transport, I am no longer afraid when I take the four-coach trains and new buses,” she added.

Regarding the NKRA on education, private company executive Jolynn Ng said education and tertiary eduction had produced more graduates than before.

“The emergence of new, fresh and talented graduates has been a good sign for the GTP and the education sector has been given much focus, which is a good step for a developing country like Malaysia.

“Besides education, the government also needs a focused plan to ensure the NKRA target to reduce crime and improve public transportation is achieved,” she said.

Businessman Johnny Amman said many parts of the GTP were still vague to the public and the government needed to clarify in detail.

“Even though the public do not notice it, things have improved with efforts in combating crime and corruption being the two areas showing most progress.

“The Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 is a good move and now, I see police officers everywhere,” he said.

Besides that, several non-governmental organisations (NGO) welcomed and supported the GTP, saying it managed to change several ministries and government agencies in tackling public woes which once affected the lives of many.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jani said much had been achieved in a relatively short time, for example, in improving the welfare of low-income households.

“It is encouraging to hear about the successes around creating new women entrepreneurs and reducing hardcore poverty.

“Reducing poverty through entrepreneurship is spot-on because the best way to help people in need is by helping them help themselves,” he said.

Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) chairman Datuk Henry Chin said reduction of crime rates under the NKRA was a positive development.

“It is through the concentrated efforts of the police that this has come about.

“There have been many successful programmes conducted by the police. It takes two hands to clap, and the success of the NKRA is definitely a collaboration of the police, public and NGOs like MCPF,” he said.

MCPF vice-president Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the police should be commended for their recent success in reducing the street crime rate by 35 per cent as compared to the targeted 20 per cent, and the index crime rate by 16 per cent.

“The use of NKRA approaches has shown positive outcome as shown by the statistics,” he said.

Orang Asli Association of Peninsular Malaysia president Majid Sohot said rural basic infrastructure in Orang Asli settlements on the outskirts of the city had been satisfactory and shown good progress.

“Many Orang Asli settlements have now been fitted with pipes, treated water and electricity — this is a good sign that more interior settlements will get the same soon,” he said.

National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Loke Yim Peng said two aspects of the NKRA were progressing very strongly and had seen very positive feedback.

“One is the Literacy and Numeracy (Linus) programme launched by the government. I see it has received good feedback from teachers and has helped children develop the three basic skills of reading, writing and counting,” he said.

Another area was the focus on pre-school education as the government had created more opportunities to create more pre-schools so that even children in rural areas had access to solid foundation for education, he said.

Loke said with more emphasis on ICT, teachers’ workload was reduced and it aided teaching and learning.

Transparency International (Malaysian Chapter) president Datuk Paul Low said with help of the Performance Management & Delivery Unit (Pemandu) and NKRA secretariat, the GTP was progressing well.

“The challenge of the NKRA is how to achieve the target of reforming political processes, bring changes to political financing and the way political parties are financed, and combating what is called ‘grand corruption’,” he added.

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