DUBAI – The government’s socio-economic transformation agenda for the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), implemented through the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), has garnered international recognition when it won the Global Good Governance (3G) Awards for Best Economic Transformation Programme 2017 here on Tuesday.
Three other economic transformation programmes nominated for the same award category were the ‘One Belt One Road’ from China, ‘The China Pakistan-Economic Corridor’ and ‘The Transforming Kenya from Kenya’.
The award, presented by 3G Awards Founding Chairman Professor Humayon Dar was a recognition of the Malaysian Government’s success in accelerating socio-economic transformation in the ECER through the delivery of high-impact projects and programmes to boost private and public investments with the ultimate aim of empowering communities and uplifting the lives of the people across the region.
ECERDC Chief Executive Office Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John said the success of ECER s transformation programme was clearly showcased when more than 140,000 new jobs were created following its achievement in attracting RM102 billion worth of private investments, as at March 2017, which is 92 per cent of its RM110 billion investment target for 2020.
The investments opened up job opportunities for skilled workers. as well as, technical and management roles, reflecting the growing opportunities for local talents to obtain better high-income jobs.
“ECERDC’s holistic and inclusive human capital development programmes have trained a new generation of skilled workers and entrepreneurs; majority of whom are from disadvantaged communities in the rural areas to meet this new demand,” he told Bernama at the award ceremony.
ECERDC is a statutory body that spearheads the execution and implementation of the ECER s master plan covering Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and the district of Mersing in Johor.
So far, 655,000 people have benefitted from all its projects and programmes, of which 97 per cent were from the bottom 40 (B40) group.
On the victory, Issace said the award was testament to the collective efforts of stakeholders under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in driving the transformation agenda of the country.
“This award is a global recognition that showed we are doing something good, where all ECER programmes are done sustainably and inclusively, emphasising on the business opportunities and their growth, as well as, empowering and uplifting the peoples’ standard of living.
“The core of ECER is the people, where all our projects and programmes are people-centric. The essence to this must be translated into three goals which is job creation, entrepreneur opportunities and better household income,” said Issace.
Moving forward, he said the expansion of Kuantan Port and the 600 kilometre East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) would be the game changer projects to further boost connectivity and stimulate private investments in the ECER.
The 3G Awards, founded by Cambridge IF Analytica, a United Kingdom-based organisation, were presented to governments, corporates and non-governmental organisations for excellence in transparency, good governance and social responsibility.
The winners of the award were selected through a global poll and a jury of eminent personalities drawn from the government, industry and academia.