August 27, 2009
Idris Jala becomes a Senator and Minister in Prime Minister’s Department
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has named Malaysian Airlines chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala as a minister to implement his administration’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), an indication that the prime minister is impatient and unimpressed with those tasked to do so previously.
Gerakan president Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon was made minister and, together with Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, were tasked last April to craft and monitor the KPIs by November but they have only issued an alphabet soup of acronyms and vague targets.
With six straight losses and just one win against rival coalition Pakatan Rakyat in by-elections since Election 2008, Najib knows he cannot afford laggards as the KPIs are a cornerstone of his administration which began on April 3 with him preaching “1 Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.”
While the national economy is linked to global trade recovering from a recession, Najib’s government has not been able to cut the crime index and has badly handled the policy U-turn in the teaching of mathematics and science in English.
He had also had to shoot down a proposal to filter the Internet while grappling with the country’s dual track legal system where a Muslim woman faces caning for drinking beer.
With Idris’s appointment as minister without portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Department, Najib’s 28-member Cabinet will expand to 29, just 3 short of predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s much-criticised jumbo-sized cabinet.
In a statement today, Najib said King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin has consented to the appointment and Idris will be sworn in as a senator to take up the post. adding Malaysia Airlines will announce the replacement CEO and managing director later.
As CEO of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu), Idris will complement, support and report to Koh, who is minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of National Unity and Performance Management.
He sad Koh will formulate and execute the overall policy and strategy with special focus on the National Key Results Areas (N-KRA) apart from being chairman of the Pemandu board which includes the chief secretary to the government and other senior officers.
“Idris, on the other hand, will focus on sharing his expertise and experience in Shell and Malaysia Airlines and driving implementation of performance management in the federal government,” Najib said, adding Idris will be Pemandu deputy chairman responsible for specific N-KRAs and national KPIs apart from advising the relevant ministers.
He added Idris will report to Koh on issues relating to KPIs and directly to the prime minister on other duties assigned to him as minister without portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Department.
The Sarawakian was made managing director and CEO of Malaysia Airlines in December 2005 after the flag carrier’s biggest financial loss in its corporate history. he has turned around the ailing airline into a profitable concern by aggressively cutting down its assets and routes, focusing on profitable destinations and cost-cutting measures.
He previously spent 23 years in Shell and between 2002 and 2005, Idris was managing director of Shell MDS (Malaysia) and vice-president Shell Malaysia Gas & Power (Malaysia).
Idris has also assumed other positions in the energy giant in its London headquarters and also its unit in Sri Lanka. Idris holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Universiti Sains Malaysia and a Masters degree from Warwick University, the United Kingdom.