The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) is inspired by the vision of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia. IDEAS shares his vision as stated in the 1957 Proclamation of Independence that this nation should:

“be for ever a sovereign democratic and independent State founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations”

IDEAS is Malaysia’s first think-tank dedicated to promoting market-based solutions to public policy challenges. We are an independent not-for-profit organisation. As a cross-partisan think tank, we work across the political spectrum. Our purpose is to advance market-based principles, and we are not bound by party politics, race or religion.

Our mission is to improve the level of understanding and acceptance of public policies based on the principles of rule of law, limited government, free markets and free individuals.

We achieve this mission through:

  • Research
  • Publication of reports and books
  • Seminars, discussions and short courses
  • Briefings for federal and state politicians and policy-makers from across the political divide
  • Media engagements

IDEAS was officially launched on 8 February 2010, in conjunction with Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman’s 107th birthday, by YBM Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah at Memorial Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Kuala Lumpur, in an event graced by three generations of Almarhum Tunku’s family members. (selected press coverage: The Star, The Edge and The Malaysian Insider)

Our commitment to quality has received international recognition. On 21 January 2013, IDEAS was ranked as the 5th best new think tank globally and the best new think tank in Asia in a survey of more than 6500 think tanks in 169 countries by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program.

Wau Bebas Logo

IDEAS’ logo is the wau bulan that flies freely in the sky – hence its name “Wau Bebas” or the Kite of Freedom. The traditional Wau Bebas motif symbolises IDEAS’ belief that the principles of Rule of Law (Kedaulatan Undang-Undang), Limited Government (Kerajaan Terhad), Free Markets (Pasaran Bebas), and Free Individuals (Individu Merdeka), are deeply rooted in our nation’s tradition and heritage.

Our task is to rediscover these truly Malaysian values and to re-present them to contemporary Malaysian society so that our heritage will help us prosper in a globalised world. A wau is only complete and functional when it is rooted to the ground via a string, depicting our call for abidance to the rule of law within a small, limited state.

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