(Also published on The Malaysian Insider)
At PEMANDU, perception trumps reality. This very powerful government agency values perception and spin above genuine transformation. Starting with the headlines, its rosy communiqués trumpeted strong economic numbers in 2011 rather than admit that real gross national income (GNI) growth was below target, let alone explain the causes or articulate measures to close the gap.
PEMANDU lied in its annual report. It took “100 per cent” credit for the construction of a RM1.9 billion wafer fab plant that was never built. Malaysian official statistics have, until now, been accepted as reliable. This is crucial for investor and public confidence. We hope PEMANDU is not pressuring other government agencies and EPP owners to also dress up their numbers, which will ultimately lead to a catastrophic collapse in confidence in Malaysia.