Acronym jungle overdrive – driven by young upstarts.

Reuters recently gave a report on how Datuk Najib is on overdrive to stamp his mark as the Prime Minister and trying his damndest to get rid of the remnants of the old guards from his team without triggering a revolt. I am in no position to do a political story let alone an analysis. What that report resonates with me is the myriads of acronyms that we have to contend with and comprehend for the past couple of years since he became Prime Minister. I can understand he is a man in a hurry to transform the country into a high economy nation. A man with a huge mission. With the targeted 2020 only nine years to go he did not have much time. First it was KPI, then came a slew of terms like NKRA, sub-NKRA, GTP, NKEA, EPP, PEMANDU, UKAS, EC, SPAD,  etc. As if that is not enough, we were then introduced to new terms such as ‘touch points’, ‘low hanging fruits’, ‘green initiatives’ ,’economic ecosystems’,’ laboratories’ etc. As a government servant I have to at least get a good grasp of all these so that we can at least explain them to the man on the streets and implement all the policies related to these terms.

Through my experience working in the government, all these terms point to one common source – consultants, external consultants rather. They are myriads of consulting firms hired by the government to advise them on all sorts of things. I the Smart School Pilot Project days, we had consultants from the USA for the systems, Japan for the project finance, Spain for accounting, Britain and Australian for project management. These people were normally surrounded by eager, smart, inexperienced, young helpers (or sub consultants so to speak). I reckon by now, most of them have become consulting managers on their own. These consultants normally had a penchant for these bamboozling terms like “leveraging”, “go no go”, “wash up”, “benchmark tools’ etc. You have to really mingle with them to get a grip on these terms.

Meanwhile, to clear up the confusion, maybe we  should form another unit called UTAN – Unit Terjemahan Akronim Nasional!!!!


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