Malaysia’s Dr Jomo vying for ILO Director-General Post

February 7, 2012

Malaysia’s Dr Jomo vying for ILO Director-General Post

by Joshua Foong, Bernama

One of Malaysia’s top economists, Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram, will be a candidate vying for the post of director-general of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Jomo (right with UN Secretary-General), who currently holds the post of Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations based in New York, is in London as part of Malaysia’s lobbying process for the post.

He will be meeting British Foreign Secretary William Hague as well as key figures from the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions, the Trades Union Congress and employer representatives from the ILO governing body in efforts to garner support from the UK in his bid.

Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, who is in London for a working visit, will also be present when Dr. Jomo meets Hague, while his candidacy has also been supported by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Human Resource Minister Dr S Subramaniam.

“I’m proud to be Malaysian and I believe I can bring these traits to the job if I’m elected,” Dr. Jomo, who can converse in 10 languages, said in an interview with Malaysian press on Sunday night.

The 59-year-old Penangite also said his manifesto was based on three major commitments which are to address contemporary issues such as the prospect of extended economic slowdown, the deepening and widening ILO standards, and to improve management, especially during hard times when operations have to be leaner and meaner.

“I am confident that I have the relevant experience and have experiences and expertise that will set me apart from my competitors,” he said.

A tripartite UN body

The ILO is a tripartite UN body, the only UN organisation which brings together representatives of not only governments but also workers and employers. It defines and promotes compliance with international conventions on matters like the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining and the prohibition of discrimination, forced labour and child labour.

The election for ILO director-general will be held in Geneva on May 28, where 28 government delegates and 14 delegates, each from employer organisations and trade unions, will vote in the election.

The first phase for the appointment of the director-general will take place on March 30, which is the last day of the 313th session of the governing body, and will be dedicated to the hearings of candidates.

The second phase will consist of a specially convened meeting of the governing body for the purpose of conducting the ballot for the election of the director-general.

The newly elected director-general will then replace outgoing Chilean Juan Somavía, who will be stepping down on September 30.


15 thoughts on “Malaysia’s Dr Jomo vying for ILO Director-General Post

  1. This is part of Wisma Putra’s job,that is, to lobby Australia, India, the US, Russia, China, the EU (namely France and Germany, Japan, South Korea, ASEAN, Brazil, South Africa and others for their support of Jomo’s candidacy.

    There is no doubt that Dr. Jomo has the reputation and relevant experience to succeed Juan Somavía of Chile as ILO’s Director-General.But he should not belabour the fact that he is Malaysian, but that as an international civil servant, he must rise above nationality. I wish Dr.Jomo well.–Din Merican

    p.s. It is sad that the University of Malaya did not choose to award him with an Emeritus Professorship, which he richly deserves. In stead, people like Khoo Kay Kim are honored.Something is really wrong with the way we do things. You have to be one big kaki ampu to get recognition.

    Dr. Jomo is respected internationally and by his peers abroad for his academic achievements with a number of excellent books on the Malaysian political economy and other subjects to his credit. Now, I hope Malaysia will lobby intensely for him. This is the least we can do for this public intellectual and world class academic with degrees from Yale and Harvard to his name.

  2. Dr Jomo KS and Dr Terence Gomez have done significant academic work on crony capitalism and rent-seeking in Malaysia.

  3. Dr Jomo won’t be the first nor the last anak Malaysia that is not given due recognition by Malaysia inspite of his credentials and recognition by world bodies such as ILO. Malaysia is still dreaming of a Nobel prize winner while there are more distinguished awards being given out each year. Maybe “dear leader” is aiming for an award for the 1M idea.

  4. He is undobtedly one of the few notable ‘Economic’ brains of Malaysia, & personally i would consider him an Authority – well, if Malaysia doest not so recognize him, the World body has shown recognition by ‘inviting’ him to serve in the august house of Honour !

    @semper fi “,,,,anak Malaysia that is not given due recognition…inspite of his credentials….” – you bet, none of our VIPs or Wisma Putra Officials who are suffering from Inferiority complex will ever want to ‘lobby’ for a person who has the brains & Intelligence of AK Jomo;s stature . It is simply ‘envy’….the age-old psyche in the gene.

    But wait ! when he does get to be the ILO Chief, Malaysian government will be the first to ‘ hug’ him in Embrace, and proclaim to the world ” How great is Malaysia ! ” – leaving him OUT of the Limelight !

  5. These rascist UMNOMelyus will not support an Indian . Mydin and his kampong menatlity ilks practice Malay first and Malaysian second. Dream on fellow Malaysians or migrate to avoid racial discrimination.

  6. Din
    We both know Dr Jomo as a sharp Malaysian intellectual and a man with great humility, whose humble background belies his character and achievements. It is unfortunate that TDM never liked for his honesty in criticising the crony capitalism and rent-seeking policies of TDM using the Vision 2020 postal day cover.
    Not withstanding our loss, we should all support Jomo in his quest to be the ILO chief and wish him well for the future.
    One more point though. If PR comes to power, As Nordina suggests, they should recall all our all our lost intellectuals and businessman who have made good overseas to rebuild our nation.

  7. If brains like Dr Jomo is “pariah” then what are you makcik, a leech?

    ‘pemerintahan Mahathir?” what do you think he is , an Emperor?

  8. Definition of leech:Most leeches are hematophagous, as they are predominantly blood suckers that feed on blood from vertebrate and invertebrate animals.[3] Wikipedia

  9. Goodness gracious, Dr Jomo would do better if the FM stays in the background and shadows. He should be able to get the post based on his own merits, but the Goons desperately need his ‘image’. Photo Ops anyone? The circle of Life.

  10. in the past, malaysian government was always allergic to anything ‘union’ calling them leftist, communists and traitors. during mahathirs time many union leaders were arrested, tortured, abused and came out broken, like Anwar.
    has anything changed?? a big No. a developed country needs a body which fights for and protects the rights of workers.

    I wish Dr.Jomo luck and hope he’ll highlight the role the malaysian trade unions could play in developing the country into a higher income society.

  11. There are many in University of Malaya that are recognized for their expertise worldwide but not by the university nor the Malaysian government and some of them are like DrSieh Mei Ling, known for her expertise worldwide on the service industry as an impetus to economic growth, Dr Dunston Ayadorai who wrote the “bible” on Industrial Relations in Malaysia etc. Instead the likes of Abdul Ghani Othman (don’t even have a PhD) got appointed Dean and later MB of Johore!

  12. And I wish Dr Jomo all the best in hs endeavor to be the ILO head honcho – he is highly qualified and suitable to head the organization!

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