KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 – Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s team of economic advisors will consist of top corporate figures as part of the prime minister’s efforts to tap the best brains to cushion the impact of the global recession.
Among the names being tossed around are figures such as Datuk Seri Panglima Andrew Sheng, who is a former Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission chairman, andÂ Khazanah director Datuk Mohamed Azman Yahya.
The Malaysian Insider also understands that other being considered may include Sime DarbyÂ president and group chief executive Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid.
Bumiputra Commerce Holdings Berhad (BCHB) chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof is also another person being looked at to be a member of Najib’s team.
In unveiling his Cabinet yesterday, Najib also announced the formation of a Council of Economic Advisors (CEA).
The CEA, which is expected to replace a bloated Economic Council (EC), is being created to provide expert advisory support directly to the prime minister.
The new team will only have between six and eight expert advisors.
Its chairman will have ministerial rank although he will not be part of the Cabinet and will not attend Cabinet meetings.
The existing EC has 40 members including Cabinet members, bureaucrats, academicians, and corporate leaders.
The former prime minister Tun Abdullah Badawi had set up the EC last August to help the government come up with measures to tackle the economic slowdown then.
But it has had little impact so far.
Najib will be hoping a leaner CEA will be more effective as he attempts to deflect criticisms that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government is not doing enough to soften the blow of the global economic recession.
As the finance minister, Najib recently unveiled a RM60 billion “mini-budget” to lukewarm response.
In the coming weeks, he will be hoping to inject some urgency towards the implementation of the stimulus package to get a slow down the slide in the domestic economy.
To do this he will tap on to the advice of the CEA.
Besides his experience in the Hong Kong Securities Commission, Sheng was also a chief adviser to the China Banking Regulatory Commission and has also served as chief economist to Bank Negara.
Md Nor was formerly the executive chairman of the Malaysian Securities Commission and also the former managing director of Malaysia Airlines.
Source : Malaysian Insider