By Sherilyn Pang
SHAH ALAM, Sept 7 — The role of the state government can be expanded and be more detailed, says the former chairman of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Al-Ishsal Ishak.
He said the state administration should prioritise in pinpointing the industries whose growth they want to stimulate in order to carry out adequate efforts as soon as possible.
“In terms of its planning efforts, the state government should prioritise which sectors they want to stimulate first for growth. For instance, the development of the F&B sector among the micro-enterprises has shown how the state government can prepare the channels for aid supply not just for funding but also to provide bank assistance for capital financing” said Ishsal during a dialogue session to discuss the 2021 Selangor Budget Dialogue at Setia City Convention Centre here today.
“In this Covid-19 pandemic era, the role of the state government must become more detailed. For instance, manufacturing (sector) forms 22 per cent of the national GDP. In this sector, 98 per cent are SMEs. The listed ones, however, comprise only 174 companies but SMEs comprise over a million of them, but we need to go deeper.
“These are very macro data that we need to break down to get to the granular details.”
Ishsal said the state government should be able to tabulate the needed data to develop solutions and remove challenges that exist in the procedures at the local authorities and state agencies’ levels.
“At the state level, the local authorities and agencies’ could get hold of details such as household incomes and so on. Only with this can you then generate the right information or extract the resistance from the process because ultimately, it is the process with the (Federal) government that delays things,” he said.
Additionally, Ishsal said private-and-public sector collaboration is key towards ensuring that data integration can be used to develop a clear path for the state.
“For instance obtaining a grant with the state government, does that involve data-sharing? Grab (Malaysia) may require information from the government and vice-versa. This is an example of collaboration between the private sector and the (state) government, which is important.
“Above all, the objectives and the focus need to be clear and that is what the Selangor budget need to look into,” Ishsal noted.
Appointed as MCMC chairman in 2018 by former Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, Ishsal’s tenure ended in mid-2020.