Policy Briefs

Gross Domestic Product 2021

Gross Domestic Product 2021

Labour Market 2021

Labour Market 2021

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Policy Briefs

Policy Brief 10

15 September 2021

Dr Nungsari Radhi observes that indicators such as the median household income, monthly salaries and the incidence of poverty fell significantly in 2020. In view of these figures, he suggests that it is misguided to pursue economic growth as a target. Rather, social well-being should be the policy objective. He proposes that the post-pandemic policy emphasis should be on the protection of social well-being – not on accounting growth and construction and contractor-driven development.

Policy Brief 9

15 June 2021

Tan Sri Andrew Sheng observes that the world is being affected by major shifts in digitization, technological innovation, education and reskilling, and revolutions in monetary and financial policies. He argues that in a post-pandemic world it will be necessary to think about economics as a complete system that comprises meta-economics (the philosophy of economic theory), macro-economics, micro-economics and meso-economics (the institutional framework that links the micro with the macro). He emphasizes that we must re-tool our thinking given the complex environment and escalating risks.

Policy Brief 8

9 February 2021

The term “migrant worker” is generally used to describe foreign workers who migrate from poorer countries (relative to the host country) to work in jobs categorized as either low or semi-skilled. In Malaysia, we have simply never known how many migrant workers reside within our borders. Estimates for the number of foreign workers range from 2 million to upwards of 5.5 million people, but this number does not consider the true number of undocumented foreigners in Malaysia, which includes stateless persons, trafficked or smuggled individuals, refugees, and asylum-seekers. In this brief, Dr Melati Nungsari will discuss the nature of migrant labour in Malaysia, as well as challenges before and during COVID-19 surrounding this issue.

Policy Brief 7

22 January 2021

ASEAN Centrality would not be very meaningful if intra-ASEAN trade remains shallow
Boosting the share of intra-ASEAN trade has long been an important part of ASEAN’s economic integration efforts. The ASEAN Economic Community established in 2015 is committed to increasing intra-ASEAN trade not only in terms of trade volumes but also as a proportion of total trade flows. Unfortunately, this percentage has remained stubbornly in the twenties for decades despite the reduction of tariffs between ASEAN member states.

Policy Brief 6

13 December 2020

In three weeks, the year 2020 will end. Incredibly, it has been a year largely devoid of any serious discussion of Vision 2020, its significance, and the lessons its achievements and failures offer for the future. The philosopher Santayana warned, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Hegel had observed earlier that history repeats itself, to which Marx added, “the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce”. In February 1991, then Prime Minister Tun Mahathir articulated a bold vision for the future of Malaysia in three decades, branded Vision 2020, soon after the New Economic Policy’s (NEP) Outline Perspective Plan for 1971-1990 ended.

Policy Brief 5

2 December 2020

Fiscal and monetary measures needed to fight the economic downturn, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and policy response measures, require greater government accountability and discipline to ensure success by minimising abuse besides improving contagion containment measures.

Policy Brief 4

2 September 2020

Tripartite discord has been brewing in Malaysia, surrounding the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, the state of jobs and wages, and the government’s responses. When Putrajaya announces a programme or a notification on the labour market situation, trade unions swiftly object to those policies or cast doubt on the claims. This does not happen to all policy measures and updates, but to quite a few major pronouncements.

Policy Brief 3

21 May 2020

A former Professor and banker with the ADB explains that, “The outflows during the COVID-19 crisis at $100 billion over a three-month period were even larger than during the GFC. Risks are further compounded when a large chunk of external debt is denominated in hard currencies exposing debtor countries to currency risks. The health and debt problems facing developing economies could not have come at a worse time with exports and commodity prices collapsing even before the pandemic crisis, and credit spreads widening for developing economies with the crisis.”

Policy Brief 2

19 April 2020

Head of Research at MIER, explains that, “The Covid-19 pandemic has roiled global financial markets and this has serious consequences for Malaysian trade and investment. Even as we are working out strategies to contain the incidence of the disease in Malaysia we have to plan for the recovery of the economy which will be damaged as has not been experienced so far. We will also have to think how we will adapt to the post-Covid global realignment that might see the rise of stronger nationalistic tendencies and a shying away from free trade policies.”

Policy Brief 1

24 March 2020

Head of Research at MIER, explains that, “The Covid-19 pandemic has roiled global financial markets and this has serious consequences for Malaysian trade and investment. Even as we are working out strategies to contain the incidence of the disease in Malaysia we have to plan for the recovery of the economy which will be damaged as has not been experienced so far. We will also have to think how we will adapt to the post-Covid global realignment that might see the rise of stronger nationalistic tendencies and a shying away from free trade policies.”