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Naidu leapfrogs from S’pore to Malaysia


Chandrababu Naidu’s new mantra is ‘Pemandu’. The chief minister of Andhra Pradesh now thinks that he could propel the state into higher growth trajectory by chanting “Pemandu”. Today, in an extraordinary meeting of all special chief secretaries, principal secretaries, secretaries and heads of department he talked of Pemandu and suggested them that they should work from now on wards under the guidance of his new Mantra. Of late, after Singapore, Malaysia has become Naidu’s catchphrase in the review meetings with government officials.

Pemandu stands of Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU), and was the discovery of the Malaysia. Malaysia, Naidu’s first love for economic transformation of Andhra Pradesh, adopted Pemandu to transform the country into a high-income economy by 2020.

After fixing the annual growth rate of 15 per cent for the next financial year, Naidu told the state bureaucracy that he was planning to adopt the Malaysian methodology to put the state in the high growth trajectory. As per the Pemandu, a central monitoring unit will be set up in the office of chief minister and its wings called labs will be set up in every department in order to monitor the performance, and troubleshoot if the performance is hindered by extraneous reasons. By constantly monitoring the performance of all department in various sectors, Naidu thinks, the government can achieve international standards. In the case of Malaysia, the Pemandu is a unit in the office of Malaysian Prime Minister. Pemandu ‘s main role is to oversee the implementation of and assessment of progress of the Economic Transformation Program and the Government Transformation Program in the country.

A special chief secretary, closely associated with Naidu, said the Malaysian Pemandu was charged with transforming public services and attracting foreign investments into the private sector. “It achieves this by acting as an in-house government consultancy, supporting ministries in developing and implementing new solutions to transform public services,” he said.

Naidu’s affair with Malaysia was not all of sudden. According to sources, his infamous vision 2020 had also been inspired by Malaysia. This Vision ‘2020-Malaysia’ was provided by an international consultant which also prepared the Vision 2020 document for Naidu. But, following his defeat in 2004, the document had been consigned to the dust bin by the Congress government. And Naidu also reportedly got skeptical of its electoral charm and he was compelled to forget it. Now, Naidu, who is starved of new ideas to spin a developmental magic in successor state of Andhra Pradesh, borrowed Pemandu (minus vision 2020) from Malaysia and is attempting to impose on Andhra Pradesh. According to the special chief secretary, who talked to ‘telugu360.com’ on condition of anonymity, the whole essence of the Pemandu is to privatize the economy as widely and deeply as possible.

In Bahasa Malaysia, Pemandu means drive. And the idea is shaped by the belief that methods and approaches used in the private sector can be applied successfully to the public sector. Pemandu has two programs: one, the Government Transformation Program (GTP), which focuses on how the government and the private sector can join hands to modernize the way the government operates, and two, the Economic Transformation Program (ETP), which focuses on attracting private investment into Malaysia,” sources in the Andhra Pradesh planning department told this correspondent. The state bureaucracy, however, is divided on the efficacy of the foreign model in the Andhra context.

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