What is the Asia Liberty Forum?

The Atlas Network in collaboration with the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and the Centre for Civil Society presents The Asia Liberty Forum 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 18 – 20 February 2016.

The Asia Liberty Forum #AsiaLF16 is a gathering of the best and the brightest in Asia to discuss and exchange solutions that promote liberty and free-market reforms in Asia.  

As a participant, you will have the opportunity to be among opinion leaders and influential figures at the forefront of the global freedom and liberty movement. You will gain from the collective sharing of insights and experiences on how to strengthen civil society and push for policy reforms – all in the city of Kuala Lumpur!

Event highlights include:

  • Speed Networking – the freedom movement’s version of “speed dating” where you will quickly meet freedom champions and expand our network
  • Elevator Pitch Competition – participants present a 60-second pitch with the chance to win a USD 500 prize
  • Training workshops – honing your skills in marketing, social media, and entrepreneurship
  • Documentary Screening of India Awakes – a documentary on how marginalized populations in India have grown prosperous due to free market reforms
  • Freedom Dinner & Regional Liberty Awards – in recognition of think tanks within the Atlas Network that have made important contributions to improving the landscape for enterprise and entrepreneurship in their regions
  • IDEAS’ 6th Anniversary Celebration

Who should go?

ALF 2016 is one of the biggest regional gatherings of freedom advocates  from all over the world in particular Asia. Anyone who is interested in understanding the freedom movement in Asia and policy reforms should definitely come. 

Check out highlights from ALF 2015 for more!




Thursday, 18 February 2016

17:30 Registration


18:30 Welcome & Opening Address

R-Studio, 2nd Floor, West Wing

Welcome by Tricia Yeoh, IDEAS (Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs), Malaysia
Opening Address by Baishali Bomjan, CCS (Centre for Civil Society), India
Keynote Address on Asia Liberty Rising by Tom G Palmer, Atlas Network, USA


20:00 Dinner


22:00 End of Day 1






Friday, 19 February 2016

08:30 Registration


09:00 Speed Networking

Ballroom Foyer

A great Liberty Forum tradition! In a “speed dating” format, you will quickly network with freedom champions and experience the diversity of Atlas Network’s worldwide partners.

Hosted by Azrul Mohd Khalib, IDEAS, Malaysia


10:00 Welcome & Opening Address

Ballroom A

Welcome by Wan Saiful Wan Jan, IDEAS, Malaysia
Opening address by Siegfried Herzog, FNF (Friedrich Naumann Foundation), Southeast Asia

10:20 Panel Discussion

Ballroom A


Faces of Freedom in Asia

There are reasons to be hopeful about the liberty movement in Asia. Let the best and brightest of Atlas Network’s partners tell you their inspiring stories.


Chaired by Rainer Heufers, Centre for Indonesian Policy Studies, Indonesia

Baladevan Rangaraju, India Institute, India

Dhananath Fernando, Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka
Noor Amin Ahmad, Institute for Leadership and Development Studies (LEAD), Malaysia
Basanta Adhikari, Bikalpa, Nepal
Rishi Kochhar, Amritsar Policy Group, India

12:15 Lunch

Ballroom A


13:15 Documentary Screening

Ballroom A


Poverty Inc. hosted by Johnathan Moody, PovertyCure, USA


Friday, 19 February 2016


14:30 Concurrent Breakout Sessions
Ballroom A






Arcade 3, Lower Ground







Arcade 4, Lower Ground

TPP, TTIP, RCEP, AEC & Other Trade Deals: Are They Really Good for Developing Countries?

Chaired by Julian Morris, Reason Foundation, USA

Razeen Sally, Director, ECIPE & IDEAS Chair in Political Economy & Governance

Sethaput Suthiwart-Narueput, Thailand Future Foundation

Vivek Dehejia, IDFC Institute, India          


Using Networks for Leveraging Influence – Successful Collaborations with New Partners 

Chaired by Siegfried Herzog, FNF, Southeast Asia
Robin Sitoula, Samriddhi – The Prosperity Foundation, Nepal
Parth J Shah, National Independent Schools Alliance, CCS, India

Lorenzo Montanari, International Property Rights Index, USA


From Aid to Enterprise: An exploration of how free people and markets beat poverty and bring growth in communities around the globe – and how you can get involved

Chaired by Jonathan Moody, PovertyCure, USA

Ruth S. Callanta, Center for Community Transformation (CCT) Group of Ministries, Philippines

Jon Borde, Hands of Freedom, India

16:00 Break


16:30 Concurrent Breakout Sessions
Ballroom A



Liberty in the Muslim World

Chaired by Wan Saiful Wan Jan, IDEAS, Malaysia

Maszlee Malik, Istanbul Network, Malaysia

Farouk Musa, Islamic Renaissance Front, Malaysia

Ali Salman, Policy Research Institute for Market Economy, Pakistan

Muhamad Ikhsan, Suarakebebasan.org, Indonesia


Arcade 3, Lower Ground







Arcade 4, Lower Ground




The Role of Internet: Challenges to Liberty Online

Chaired by Reuben Dieckhoff, FNF, Southeast Asia

Premesh Chandran, Malaysiakini, Malaysia

Syed S Kazi, Digital Empowerment Foundation, India
Andy Budiman, Serikat Jurnal Untuk Keberagaman (SEJUK), Indonesia



Scaling Liberty through Academia

Chaired by Daniel Green, Templeton Foundation, USA

Ken Schoolland, International Society for Individual Liberty, USA

Madhusudan Raj, Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, India

Baishali Bomjan, CCS, India

Kim Chung Ho, Freedom Factory Ltd, South Korea

18:00 Break


19:30 Freedom Dinner & Regional Liberty Awards
Ballroom A










Hosted by Baishali Bomjan, CCS, India

·          Dinner at 19:30 – 20:30

·          Tribute to the Lost Heroes of Liberty in 2015-16

·          Freedom Toast by Parth J Shah, CCS, India

·          Regional Liberty Awards hosted by Stephanie Giovanetti, Atlas Network, USA

The 2016 Regional Liberty Awards recognize think tanks within the Atlas Network that have made important contributions to improving the landscape for enterprise and entrepreneurship in their regions.


22:30 End of Day 2  


Saturday, 20 February 2016

8:30 Registration


8:45 Documentary Screening: India Awakes

Ballroom A

India Awakes is an uplifting and joyous new public television documentary, produced by Free To Choose Network, depicting how previously marginalized populations are benefiting from free-market reforms.


Hosted by Barun Mitra, Liberty Institute, India

10:00 Break


10:15 Panel Discussion

Ballroom A

Political Changes Across Asia—Are We Better or Worse Off?

Chaired by Tom G Palmer, Atlas Network, USA

Rajesh Jain, Free a Billion, India
Dato’ Steven CM Wong, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Malaysia
Kriengsak Chareonwongsak, Institute of Future Studies for Development, Thailand
Rohan Samarajiva, LIRNEAsia, Sri Lanka


11:45 Break


12:00 Concurrent Breakout Sessions
Ballroom A







Arcade 3, Lower Ground







Arcade 4, Lower Ground






13:30 Lunch & Elevator Pitch Competition
Grand Ballroom


Protecting Yourself Against Daylight Robbery – Current Challenges to Property Rights (Session sponsored by the Property Rights Alliance)

Chaired by Wan Saiful Wan Jan, IDEAS, Malaysia

Barun Mitra, Liberty Institute, India

Kriengsak Chareonwongsak, Institute of Future Studies for Development, Thailand

Julian Morris, Reason Foundation, USA

Lorenzo Montanari, Property Rights Alliance, USA


Measuring Policy Change: Why Indices Matter?

Chaired by Ron Manners, Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, Australia

Tricia Yeoh, IDEAS, Malaysia

Manoj Mathew, CCS, India

Arpita Nepal, Samriddhi-The Prosperity Foundation, Nepal

Ali Salman, PRIME, Pakistan


Private School Revolution in Asia

Chaired by Terry Kibbe, Free the People, USA
Ekta Sodha, Sodha Schools, India
Muhammad Adi Rahman, CIPS, Indonesia

Rohan Joshi, National Independent Schools Alliance, India


20 graduates from the Think Tank Start-up Training will deliver a one minute pitch to the audience. The winner will be decided by the audience and will receive USD 500 prize money.


Hosted by Cindy Cerquitella, Atlas Network, USA


Saturday, 20 February 2016

15:00 Concurrent Breakout Sessions
Arcade 5, Lower Ground





Arcade 3, Lower Ground







Arcade 4, Lower Ground

The Chinese Financial Crises and their Impact on Asia

Chaired by Christopher Lingle, Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Guatemala

Dr Carmelo Ferlito, IDEAS Senior Fellow, Malaysia

Andrew Shuen, Lion Rock Institute, Hong Kong

Mao Shoulong, Renmin University, China


The Rhetoric of Liberty – Shaping Opinions & Changing Mindsets in Challenging Environments

Chaired by Eamonn Butler, Adam Smith Institute, UK

Bican Sahin, Freedom Research Association, Turkey

Li Schooland, TFT Events, China

Rofi Uddarojat, Suarakebebasan.org, Indonesia


Building Evidence for Policy Change – Paper Presentations from Liberating Asian Enterprise Grant

Chaired by Laura Liu, Atlas Network, USA

Tamanna Patel, Public Procurement in FTAs: The Challenges for Malaysia, IDEAS, Malaysia

Akash Shrestha, Cost of Firing, Samriddhi – The Prosperity Foundation, Nepal

Lekshmi R Nair, Liberalizing Liquor Trade in India, Centre for Public Policy Research, India

16:30 Break


16:45 Mentors Roundtable

Lower Ground

Arcade 3 & 4


“Mentors Roundtable” is a chance for in-person mentorship opportunities unlike any other – leaders of our movement will each host a table on their area of expertise and answer your questions. Delegates have to sign up in advance for spaces. A sign-up sheet will be available at the registration desk.



19:00 Registration


For Dinner
20:00 Celebrating Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Birthday at IDEAS 6th Anniversary Dinner
Grand Ballroom










Welcoming remarks by YAM Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin ibni Tuanku Muhriz, IDEAS Founding President


Scenes from the Asia Liberty Forum 2016-02-15


Announcement of Think Tank Start Up Training Elevator Pitch Competition


IDEAS Annual Report Presentation by Wan Saiful Wan Jan



Gamelan Performance by Gamelan Slendro Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia


Keynote Speech by Tun Musa Hitam, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia


Vote of Thanks by Baishali Bomjan, CCS, India


Performance by Sean Ghazi

23:00 End of Conference  

Featured speakers

tom palmer

Tom Gordon Palmer is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and is also Executive Vice President of the Atlas Network and General Director of its Global Initiative. He teaches political economy and legal and constitutional history for the Institute for Humane Studies the Institute of Economic Studies Europe. He also works with such organizations as Liberty Fund, and the Council on Public Policy.  


Parth J. Shah is the Founder president of the Centre for Civil Society. CCS advances social change through public policy. Their work in education, livelihood, and policy training promotes choice and accountability across the private and public sectors. To translate policy into practice, CCS engages with policy and opinion leaders through research, pilot projects and advocacy.


Razeen Sally is IDEAS’ Chair in Political Economy and Governance and is an Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He is Chairman of the Institute of Policy Studies, a think tank in his native Sri Lanka which advises the Sri Lankan government on economic policies. In 2006 he co-founded European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) and was awarded the Hayek Medal by the Hayek Society in Germany. 


Eamonn Butler is Director of the Adam Smith Institute, rated one of the world’s leading policy think-tanks. He has degrees in economics, philosophy and psychology, gaining a PhD from the University of St Andrews in 1978.During the 1970s he worked on pensions and welfare issues for the US House of Representatives, and taught philosophy in Hillsdale College, Michigan, before returning to the UK to help found the Adam Smith Institute.


Baishali Bomjan leads the Centre for Civil Society’s development and strategy planning. She has previously lead the Centre’s Academy and Communication and PR efforts and has designed and managed international and national conferences, training programs, certificate courses for journalists and edited several publications of the Centre. She also leads Atlas Network’s annual conference of market liberals, the Asia Liberty Forum which brings together over 250 think tank leaders, scholars, activists and students who are advancing liberty in their home country or region.



Ekta Sodha is the Vice President of National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) which is associated with more than 39000 private schools. Ekta looks at quality improvement in education at the grassroots level to improve the quality of education across India. Ekta is also the CEO of Sodha Schools, a chain of low cost private schools in Gujarat. Under Ekta’s leadership as a CEO, Sodha Schools was ranked 5th rank in entire state of Gujarat for its educational quality at a very low price by one of Asia’s leading education magazines DIGITAL LEARNING.


Ali Salman is the Founder & Executive Director of Policy Research Institute of Market Economy, an economic policy think tank in Pakistan and has a vast experience working as a consultant economist for major international development organisations and non-profits in Pakistan and other countries. Ali is a visiting fellow at Institute of Economic Affairs, London. He is also advisor to several international organisations such as Istanbul Network for Liberty; Association for Freedom Research, Turkey; and Free Enterprise and Democracy Network, USA. 



Tun Musa Hitam is the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and has held various ministerial portfolios including the Ministry of Home Affairs, Trade and Industry, Primary Industries and Education. He also has vast experiences in both the public and private sector and was Malaysia’s Special Envoy to the United Nations besides leading the Malaysian delegation to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and drafting the ASEAN Charter as the Chairman of the Eminent Persons Group.

Terry Kibbe

Terry Kibbe is Vice President of Development at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). Trained as an industrial engineer, Terry spent the first 10 years of her career working for Unisys Corporation and EDS on various defense contracts for computer and weapon systems development. Because of her interest in politics, policy and individual liberty she made a dramatic career shift in 1997 going to work for Koch Industries Public Affairs Department as Manager of Systems Excellence. From there, she became Administrative Assistant to Congressman Chris Cox, managing both his Washington, DC and California offices. While on Capitol Hill, Terry also managed Political Action Committee (PAC) fundraising events for several members of Congress. Terry has extensive fundraising experience having worked as Director of Membership for the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses. Here she was responsible for membership recruitment and retention as well as raising money for their PAC. She also spent nearly three years as Director of Development at the Cato Institute.

Siegfried Herzog, Regionalbüroleiter Südost- und Ostasien

Siegfried Herzog is the Regional Director of Southeast and East Asia for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Bangkok. An economist by training, he was previously heading the Foundation’s country office in Manila from 2006-2010, and subsequently the regional office in New Delhi as the Regional Director for South Asia. He completed his Masters in “Economics with North American Area Studies“ at the Eberhard-Karls University Tübingen, having spent one year as an exchange student at Georgetown University, Washington D.C.. His M.A. thesis on informal credit markets in Bangladesh received an award from the Schitag-Foundation. He was one of the founders of NETZ e.V., a German NGO working on grass-roots development in Bangladesh. Before going to university he got a vocational training degree in industrial management at the Porsche car company. An active moderator, Siegfried frequently facilitates skills and strategy workshops for partners and the Foundation’s staff members.

Baladevan Rangaraju

Baladevan Rangaraju is a social entrepreneur with expertise in policy research, advocacy, community engagement, campaigns, organization building and education leadership. He is the Founder-Director of India Institute (www.indiai.org) and Founder-Director of Indus Information Initiatives Pvt Ltd, a company that specialises in social science research. He is the author (with Tooley, James & Dixon, Pauline) of The Private School Revolution in Bihar: Findings from a survey in Patna Urban, India’s first landscape study of the school market in a city. His pioneering use of GPS technology to measure private school popularity by measuring spatial distribution of the city’s schools and enrollment patterns helped the state revise its policy to shut down nearly 1000 unlicensed schools. The study won the 2012 Templeton Freedom Award for Special Achievement by a Young Institute. A staunch proponent of choice and enterprise, Bala is widely quoted and has appeared in national and international media, most often commenting on education policies and social infrastructure issues. His latest project, the mobile app i.torney(i-torney.com) for which he won the 2014 Think Tank Shark Tank Grand Prize,is an attempt to promote rule of law in India by empowering the common man with knowledge of law. Recently, Bala founded the Centre for Justice at India Institute to promote the rule of law, competition and individual liberty.

ron manners

Ron Manners is Chairman of Mannkal Economic Education Foundation in Australia and Managing Director of the Mannwest Group. He is also Emeritus Chairman of the Australian Mining Hall of Fame Ltd, Fellow of both the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and his contributions to industry and Australia have been marked by several awards including being elected as a “Mining Legend” at the 2005 Excellence in Mining & Exploration Conference in Sydney. In 2010 Ron was appointed to the Board of Overseers for the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Washington, DC. Between 1972 and 1995 Ron floated several Australian listed mining companies, one of which became Australia’s third largest gold producer, before joining the board of a Canadian company with operations in Mexico, Brazil and Turkey. He is a life member of the Mont Pelerin Society and is on the coordinating Committee for the Commonwealth Study Conference. Ron is also the author and editor of four books – So I Headed West, Kanowna’s Barrowman – James Balzano, Never a Dull Moment and Heroic Misadventures:
Australia; Four Decades – Full Circle
– as well as numerous papers and addresses.

Rishi Kocchar

Rishi Kochhar founded Amritsar Policy Group (APG) in India in 2012 to disseminate ideas of freedom and prosperity among young individuals. His love and passion for Freedom and Liberalism date back to 2002 when he first attended a seminar by Centre for Civil Society and got thrilled with those life changing ideas. In less than three years APG has reached out to more than 10000 students in 20 colleges and has published “City Bus in Amritsar – Review Report” and translated Tom Palmer’s book “The Morality of Capitalism” in Punjabi language. Rishi has a Master in Business Economics from Punjab School of Economics, Guru Nanak Dev University. Having worked with Ministry Rural Development, GoI; UNICEF India; and UNDP India on Human Development and related projects, has more than 10 years of experience in the development sector.


Jonathan A. Moody serves as Managing Director of PovertyCure, an initiative and network based at the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, MI (USA), with more than 400 partner organizations across 144 countries. Through its media products and broad network, PovertyCure leads a conversation to rethink traditional approaches to poverty, and promote solutions that empower individuals to overcome their condition and cause communities to thrive. In his role, he has had the opportunity to convene events and collaborate with partners in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and North America. Prior to leading PovertyCure, he served as Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Foundation for Economic Education in Atlanta, GA. He and his wife, Esther, reside in Ada, Michigan with their two young children, David and Ruby.


Ate Ruth is the President and Founder of the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) group of ministries in the Philippines, an organized Christian response against poverty and social injustice founded in 1992.  CCT has a variety of ministries to help fulfill their mission including but not limited those focusing on spiritual development, microfinance, education, health, social security, community mobilization and empowerment.  Ate Ruth has more than thirty years of experience in development work, specializing in strategic management of non-profit organizations, poverty alleviation, and the management of corporate philanthropy.  


Maszlee Malik is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences at the International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. His research area is in Islamic jurisprudence, Contemporary Islamic Political Thoughts and Movements and Good Governance. He is an undergraduate in the field of fiqh and usul fiqh at al-Bayt University and holds a master’s degree in the same field from the University of Malaya. He obtained his doctorate degree (PhD) in the United Kingdom in Political Science. Maszlee is also an experienced teaching at Durham University in the years 2008-9. He was invited to be a guest speaker for SOAS summer school on ‘Political Islam’ for two consecutive years (2009-2010) for the topic ‘Political Islamic Movements in South-East Asia’. He posses vast experience in NGO charity work in Lebanon and Jordan since the year 2004, which gave him myriad experiences in dealing with political literatures in Arabic language and the political situation in the Middle East. Furthermore, Maszlee is also frequently invited as guest speaker by many Malaysian media to talk on issues relate to Political Islam, Middle Eastern Politics and Arab Spring. Australia; Four Decades – Full Circle – as well as numerous papers and addresses.


Dato’ Steven CM Wong is Deputy Chief Executive of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia. He also heads the economics division of the Institute and has been involved in the public policy arena for more than two decades, 20 years of which has been with ISIS Malaysia. He spent a further eight years in the private sector where he held positions in management consultancy, economic research, fund management, corporate finance and capital markets. He is currently a columnist for the New Straits Times. He was a member of the Ministry of Human Resource’s Technical Committee for the Minimum Wage and Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s Economic Council. He has served as the Secretary-General of the Malaysian National Committee for Pacific Economic Co-operation, the Malaysian Committee for Pacific Basin Economic Co-operation, and was on the secretariats of two ASEAN Eminent Persons Groups. He has been published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the East Asian Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, the Australian National University and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. His latest publications are on ASEAN-China trade for China Economic Quarterly (June 2013) and a chapter on Malaysia’s financial sector and capital market in Malaysia: Policies and Issues in Economic Development published (ISIS Malaysia, 2011).


Akash Shrestha is a Research Coordinator at Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation where his focus areas are petroleum trade and public enterprises. He also writes newspaper articles, blogs and radio capsules, based on the findings of the studies conducted by The Foundation. He  coordinates the Foundation’s official blog and moderates a monthly discussion program named ‘Liberty Discussion Session,’ where young individuals share ideas and partake in healthy debates about the contemporary political-economy. Prior to joining Samriddhi in 2013, he was a founding member of the Nepal chapter of Youth for Nepal. He is currently pursuing Master of Arts in Economics under Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Jon Borde

Jon Borde founded an organization in India in 2004 that started as a pilot using microfinance that helped create and sustain 14 businesses.  Since that time, the ministry has trained over 28,000 individuals, and currently assists 23,000 community members using savings and credit associations.  Jon uses his education in accounting and commerce combined with his corporate business experience at American Express, PWC and Best Buy, to develop microfinance in India and find creative and innovative ways to help eradicate poverty.


Ahmad Farouk Musa is an academic at Monash University Malaysia and a trained Cardiothoracic Surgeon. As an ardent researcher, he has presented his work at prestigious conferences across Asia and Europe. He is actively involved in civil society and the emerging discourse on post-Islamism. He is also involved in interfaith dialogues especially with regard to Christian-Muslim relations and also intra-faith dialogues especially the Shi’i-Sunni discourse. He writes for a column at the Islamic Party (PAS) official organ Harakahdaily.net/en with the intention to reappraise the understanding of the Islamists and infuse progressive and democratic ideas. He also writes to other established web-portals like Malaysiakini, The Malaysian Insider and The New Mandala of the Australian National University.

As a Chairman and Director of Islamic Renaissance Front since 2007, he has conducted numerous seminars, forums, colloquiums and symposiums involving national and international figures on issues concerning democracy, human rights, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, inter- and intra-faith dialogues and religious extremism. He has also presented papers at international meetings including Symposium on Competing Visions in the Muslim World at the University of Sydney in August 2013, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), National University of Singapore in December 2013, the Global Peace Convention 2013 in Kuala Lumpur and the International Conference on Human Rights and Peace & Conflict in Southeast Asia in October 2014 in Kula Lumpur.

Muhammad Adi

Muhammad Adi Rahman graduated with the highest GPA in his Department of Economics and Development Studies in the State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta in 2014. After his graduation he became a Teaching Assistant (TA) at his previous department and he also joined a research team of the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS). Currently he works as an Associate Researcher in the Low-Cost Private School Project of CIPS.

Carmelo Ferlito (1)

Carmelo Ferlito is Commercial Director Southeast Asia for Petersime nv, a Belgian multinational and world leader manufacturer of poultry equipment. Moreover, Carmelo Ferlito is Senior Fellow at the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Adjunct Faculty Member at the INTI International College Subang in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, where he teaches History of Economic Thought and Microeconomic Theory and Policy. He earned a PhD in Economic History in Verona, Italy, in 2007, and from 2003 to 2011 he cooperates with several Italian universities. His research activity is especially devoted to Business Cycles, Capital Theory and the role of expectations in shaping human action. His latest book is titled Hermeneutics of Capital. A Post-Austrian Theory for a Kaleidoscopic World. In total he published five books, around 30 scientific papers and 200 articles for magazines and newspapers.

Lekshmi Nair

Lekshmi R Nair is senior researcher at Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) in Kochi, India. At CPPR, she has been working on different research papers for the “Liberating Asian Enterprise” project by Atlas network.  She was also a resource person for the CPPR-Atlas Leadership Academy (ALA) Global policy school held at Kochi in 2015 and is in charge of the CPPR policy academy. Her previous appointments include Economist at National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) New Delhi and faculty at Institute for Financial Management and Research, Chennai. She has Phd and Mphil in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University and Masters in Statistics. She has many national and international publications.


Vivek Dehejia is Resident Fellow in Political Economy at IDFC Institute and is Associate Professor of Economics at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada; Resident Fellow in Political Economy at IDFC Institute; and Columnist, Mint. He holds a PhD in Economics (1995) from Columbia University in New York, where his thesis supervisors included the Nobel laureate Robert Mundell and the noted international trade economist Jagdish Bhagwati. He is also co-author of “Indianomix: Making Sense of Modern India” (Random House India, 2012, republished in paperback 2015).


Lorenzo Montanari is Director of the International Programs & Affairs at Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and Executive Director of Property Rights Alliance (PRA), an advocacy group affiliated with ATR for the protection of physical and intellectual property rights, both domestically and internationally. He developed the Taxpayers Leaders Forum (TLF); the Coalition Leaders Forum (CLF); the International Coalition Meeting (ICM) in partnership with Atlas Network, and organized training workshops in Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia is in charge of publishing the International Property Rights Index, an international comparative study focused on intellectual and physical property rights. Previously, he worked for a public affairs firm in Washington, DC and at the international department of the GSPM/George Washington University. He also worked as a political analyst and electoral observer in Latin America.

Rofi Uddarojat

Rofi Uddarojat is Managing Editor of “Indonesian Freedom Voice” SuaraKebebasan.org. He is also a Researcher at Center for Indonesian Policy Studies. His work in developing youth activism and freedom movement in Indonesia started in 2011, when he founded Youth Freedom Network which was supported by Freedom Institute and Friedrich-Naumann Foundation. His focus area includes public policy, Indonesian politics, libertarianism, and youth activism. Now he is helping Indonesian Students for Liberty to expand universities across the country.

Madhusudan Raj (ALF 2016)

Madhusudan Raj is an Austrian School Economist and an Austro-Libertarian Anarcho-Capitalist thinker. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Surat. He also holds a Graduate degree in Austrian Economics from the Mises University, Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama, U.S.A. Dr. Raj is a member of the Mises Institute, U.S.A. His area of interest is Praxeology. He presently works as an assistant professor of economics at the Department of Human Resource Development, Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Surat, India.   


Noor Amin Bin Ahmad is a former student leader at the local university in Malaysia. He was involved with liberal circle in Malaysia since then (about 15 years ago). After graduation, he worked in public, private and non-governmental service among others as a Communication Officer for the Chief Minister of Selangor State Government, Program Coordinator for a nationwide research on Islam and Democracy in Malaysia with Merdeka Center for Opinion Research and the last but not least, Operations and Project Manager at Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS). Amin has authored four books – The Social Market Economy: Alternative for Malaysia? (2010), Global Warming and Climate Change (2011), Sustainability: Human, Environment and Development (2014), and The Foundations of Freedom and Justice: An Introduction (2016). Besides, he has translated nearly 10 books including What is Seen and What is not Seen by Frederic Bastiat (2012) and Economics in One Lesson (2013) by Henry Since 2010, he appeared on numerous public forums and national and private television talk shows to discuss various political, economics and social issues. He is now working on developing his newly founded think tank, Institute for Leadership and Development Studies (LEAD) since January 2014.

Basanta Photo

Basanta Adhikari is Founder of Bikalpa an Alternative in Biratnagar, an organisation which envisions a Nepal where rule of law is supreme and citizens can exercise their natural rights to life, liberty and property in a vibrant and free society. Prior to this he worked with Samriddhi-the Prosperity Foundation leading their “Gari Khana Deu” (Livable Nepal) campaign. He also served as a volunteer for three years (1999-2002) at Youth Development Program (YDP) in Biratnagar and joined Youth Initiative in 2007 where he worked with different stakeholders to educate and trained young people on the issue of civic leadership.


Sethaput Suthiwart-Narueput is Executive Chairman of Thailand Future Foundation, a nonprofit business and policy think tank, and Managing Partner for Advisor Co., a consulting firm. He also currently serves on the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Thailand and on the Board of Directors of PTT Exploration and Production. He was previously with the Siam Commercial Bank group; the Stock Exchange of Thailand; and the Ministry of Finance. Prior to returning to Thailand he was with the World Bank in Washington, DC and McKinsey & Co. in New York. Sethaput received his BA with highest honors from Swarthmore College and his PhD in economics from Yale University.


Julian Morris is Vice President of Research at Reason Foundation. Julian is the author of dozens of scholarly articles and the editor of several books, including Sustainable Development: Promoting Progress or Perpetuating Poverty (Profile Books, 2002). His current work includes research on: adaptation to climate change; water and land use regulation in the Western US; regulation of payment networks; and the development and impact of e-cigarettes. In addition to his role at Reason, Julian is President of International Policy Network (IPN), a Visiting Professor at the University of Buckingham, and a member of the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review. Previously, he was Executive Director of IPN, and before that he ran the environment and technology programme at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London.


Barun Mitra is the Founder and Director of the Liberty Institute, www.InDefenceofLiberty.org , a non-profit, independent public policy research and advocacy organisation, based in New Delhi, India. Liberty Institute is dedicated to enhancing individual freedom in economic and political domains. Among the recognition the Institute has received was the Templeton Award for social entrepreneurship in 2003. Barun Mitra also received the 2005 Julian L. Simon Award for his contribution in environmental policy debates from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Kim Chung Ho

Chung-Ho Kim is an endowed chair professor of Graduate School of Economics, Yonsei University. He is a founder CEO of Freedom Factory, a for-profit free market think tank that 731 citizen shareholders invested in. He had been the President and CEO of the Center for Free Enterprise during 2003 and 2012. He served as a member of the Presidential Committee for Regulatory Reform of Korea. He has two doctoral degrees. He earned his doctoral degree in Economics at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign in 1988 and that in Law at Soongsil University in 2003. He frequently appears in the Newspapers and TV Show’s in Korea. His current research interests include economic analysis of law and land economics. His publications include Plain Economics of Korean Law (2015, Free Economy Books), Who Locks in Consumers (2007, Kyobo) and Land Is A Private Property (2006, Nanam).


Dhananath Fernando is Chief Operating Officer of Advocata Institute, an economic policy think tank and a young liberal activist in Sri Lanka. He is the Founder of the Freedom Fair and Liberal Road Show which he created having worked as a volunteer with liberal value based organizations for more than a decade. His association with Liberal Youth Guides has paved the way for his innovative thinking to be transformed into tangible output through initiatives such as Liberal Dialogue and Freedom Calendar. They did become contributors for the Liberal Youth Guilds to be recognised as one of the strongest Liberal networks in the South Asian region.

2014-03-11 Ruben Dieckhoff 11

Ruben Dieckhoff is Regional Project Manager South Asia in the Regional Office of Friedrich Naumann Foundation in New Delhi. He has a Political Science and Economics background. Prior to joining the Foundation for Freedom as Desk Officer for South Asia and Human Rights in 2012 he worked as Political Consultant in the areas of Digitization and Data Protection. His areas of interest are in European integration and economics.

Rajesh Jain -netcore-photo

Rajesh Jain is a serial tech and political entrepreneur. He is Founder- Managing Director of Mumbai-based Netcore Solutions, India’s leading provider of digital real-time communications and marketing solutions for enterprises via email and mobile. He has also founded Niti Digital. Niti (New Initiatives to Transform India) was one of the key organisations that worked in the 2014 elections campaign of the present Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Rajesh was the first person to publicly articulate for a campaign focused on ensuring a wave election for BJP in a June 2011 org blog post “Project 275 for 2014.” One of Rajesh’s early ventures, India World Communications, launched in 1995 was acquired by Satyam Infoway in November 1999 for US$ 115 million in one of Asia’s largest Internet deals. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIT-Bombay and Columbia University (electrical engineering). Rajesh is now working on a new initiative—Free A Billion (FAB).


Christopher Lingle, Visiting Professor of Economics, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Adjunct Scholar at the Centre for Independent Studies (Sydney), Research Scholar at the Centre for Civil Society (New Delhi), and Member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Globalization Institute (Brussels). His research interests are in the areas of Political Economy and International Economics that focuses on emerging market economies and public policy reform in Europe, East Asia, Latin America and Southern Africa. His work has appeared as chapters in books, the international media, and scholarly journals, including the American Economic Review, Foreign Affairs, Journal for Studies in Economics and Econometrics, Kyklos, and Pacific Review. His book on the political economy of Singapore’s development was entitled, Singapore’s Authoritarian Capitalism: Asian Values, Free Market Illusions, and Political Dependency. He is widely credited with anticipating the turmoil in the East Asian economies that began in 1997 (The Rise and Decline of the ‘Asian Century’: False Starts on the Road to the ‘Global Millennium’). He earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Georgia in 1977.

li schooland

Li Schoolland is the Founder of TFT Events which has organized global Austrian Economic Summits, i.e. Bratislava, Bucharest, and Shanghai. Li organized liberty youth camps in Georgia, Lithuania, Turkey, and for the past four years International Economic Seminars for a hundred students in a week of classes at Northeastern University in Shenyang, China. Having grown up in China during the Cultural Revolution, she has experienced first hand the horrors of the tyrannical state. She obtained graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota (Japanese Literature) and Chaminade University of Honolulu (Japanese Business Studies) and currently teaches in Hawaii.


Andrew Shuen Pak-man is Co-founder of Lion Rock Institute in Hong Kong. Shuen’s commitment to this city led him to become the youngest Legco candidate in 2000 promoting the most classical liberal economic policy platform. He received a degree in Economics from the University of Michigan (B.A. Econ 1999). He was formerly an analyst specializing in the energy and natural resource sector with a respected Hong Kong investment bank. He now is a financial columnist with Apple Daily, and a radio show host at Digital Broadcast Corporation providing insights and analysis on the market and current events.

Syed S Kazi

Syed S Kazi is a social entrepreneur, researcher, development specialist in area of governance, services delivery, e-governance and ICT for development. At Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) with HQ in New Delhi, in his capacity as Deputy Director, Syed contributes as a key resource person on policy, programme and research activities. He has been involved in programs like DEF-Gates Foundation Public Library, DEF-EU Public Scheme Information & Entitlement, DEF-TATA Trust ITE, and DEF North East Initiatives. He was associated with key programs of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) of the Supreme Court of India, and Governance Knowledge Centre initiative of the Department of Administrative Reforms (Govt. of India). He is also honorary president of North East Development Foundation, a not-for-profit, set up and promoted to work for sustainable development in North East India region since 2006 with incubation support of DEF. He has published works in various journal, magazines, and newspapers. He is also a visiting faculty at key educational / research / administrative institutes in lecturing on ICTD. He also performs at the External Affairs Division in All India Radio, New Delhi. He holds an M Phil and a PhD in e-governance and services delivery from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.


Andy Budiman is the Founder and member of the Journalist Association for Diversity and Pluralism (SEJUK). From 2010-2014 Andy was an Editor at the Deutsche Welle in Bonn, Germany and Head of Editor for the Kantor Berita Radio 68H in Jakarta from 1999-2006. Following that, he dedicated his work as Head of Electronic Media Division and Head of Ethics & Professional Improvement Division until 2010 in the Alliance of Independent Journalist (AJI), Jakarta, where he still holds an active membership


Rainer Heufers is the Founder of CIPS, Indonesia and Managing Director of Siap Solutions Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based consulting firm that provides strategic counseling, public policy consulting, leadership training, and other services to international think tanks, political parties, corporations, and government agencies. is also a Senior Fellow of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. From 1999 to 2011 Rainer Heufers represented the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty in several Asian nations, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia. He also supported the development of a network of free market think tanks from around Asia: the Economic Freedom Network Asia (EFN Asia). Since 1984 he has researched economic and social policies involved in China’s transition to a market economy. At the beginning of his professional career he spent some years in the private sector and he worked for the German Foundation for International Development where he conducted seminars and training programs on matters of public administration as well as economic policies for African, Asian and Eastern European government executives.


Kriengsak Chareonwongsak is President of Institute of Future Studies for Development in Thailand and a Senior Fellow at Harvard University, and Fellow at Said Business School and the University of Oxford. He was a Prime Ministerial Adviser in Thailand, a Member of Parliament and Vice Chair of the Economic Development Committee in the House of Representatives. As a businessman, he is Chairman of Success Group of Companies, an Executive Chairman Adviser to CP ALL Public Company Limited in Thailand and a director of a public listed company in Singapore. In 1981 he graduated from Monash University, with First Class Honours and an Economics PhD. He obtained a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University, and holds a Master’s Degree from Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, having also completed Post Doctoral Studies at the University of Oxford.


Ken Schoolland is President of International Society for Individual Liberty, USA and Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Entrepreneurship Center at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, Hawaii. Schoolland is President of the International Society for Individual Liberty, a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, a Sam Walton Fellow for Enactus, a member of the Board of Scholars for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, and a charter member of the Board of Directors of the Small Business Hawaii Entrepreneurial Education Foundation. He has authored two books: The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey, now published in more than 47 languages, and Shogun’s Ghost: The Dark Side of Japanese Education, in two languages.


Mao Shoulong is Professor and Executive Dean of Academy of Public Policy at Renmin University of China. He was Researcher in Institute of Public Administration, Renmin University (1994-2001) and Professor and Dean of Public Administration in School of Public Administration, Renmin University of China (2001). Some of his noted publications include Public Administration and Governance Transitions, China Fazhi Press, 2008, The Innovation of Government: The Case of Shanxi, China Taxation Press, 2009, Governance Transitions in Western Countries, Renmin University Press, 1998 and Economic Analysis of Government in China, China Guangbodianshi Press 1996


Weisen Li is a Professor in Economics at Fudan University, Shanghai China. He was the Deputy-Dean of School of Economics at the University for many years and currently he is the Director of the Research Institute of Economic Thoughts and Economic History at Fudan University. He holds B.A in Economics in Shandong University, a Master’s Degree of the ANU and Ph.D. in Economics of the University of Sydney. Professor Li has wide research interests including institutional economics, comparative institutional analysis,languageof economics, ethics, anthropology, jurisprudence and history of legal systems, Austrian economics particularly thoughts of Hayek. He published over 15 books and a range of articles in both Chinese and English. He also translated a lot of English books of institutional economics, game theory, legal theory and political sciences into Chinese. He is a columnist of the Wall Street Journal (Chinese), FT (Chinese) and Caijing. Li Weisen is known as one of leading institutional economistsin China


Premesh Chandran is the CEO and Co-founder of Malaysiakini, Malaysia’s leading independent news portal, which maintains its position as the most visited news website accessed via desktops or laptops in the country.


Daniel Austin Green is Director of Individual Freedom and Free Markets at the John Templeton Foundation, where he has been since 2011. At JTF he oversees grantmaking in individual, religious, and economic freedom around the world. From 2006 until his move to Templeton, he was Resident Scholar and then Fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc, where he worked with the foundation’s educational conference program. His publications on topics concerning corporate governance and intellectual property law and theory have appeared in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, Gonzaga Law Review, Chapman Law Review, and Texas Wesleyan Law Review.


Robin Sitoula is the Executive Director of Samriddhi – a public policy institute based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He first became involved in youth activism in 1997. In 1999, he joined Youth Initiative as a co-founder of the organization. Since then, he has been designing, developing and conducting programs meant to bring leadership skills and civic awareness to young students and young policymakers in Nepal. He is also the founding President of Liberal Youth South Asia and has traveled extensively throughout South Asia to conduct programs in free market and democracy with young people in the region. He has co-authored research papers on youth employment status and youth political organizations and their influence in Nepal. His areas of interest are public policy, youth empowerment, and development. Robin graduated with a degree in Investments and Financial Management from Tribhuwan University of Nepal. University Press, 1998 and Economic Analysis of Government in China, China Guangbodianshi Press 1996


Manoj Mathew is Director, Operations & Outreach at Centre for Civil Society in India. He brings 15 years of experience in non-profit leadership and organisational development. He was the former Director of Programs at CCS. He helped scaling various programs at the Centre and advocating policy reforms in bamboo sector in India. He was the former Country Manger of Lattitude Global Volunteering, an International youth development charity offering volunteering and gap year placements. Manoj founded GREG MATTERS, a management consulting initiative providing communication strategy and event management services. Prior to joining CCS, he was the Asian Coordinator and then the Secretary General of International Young Catholic Students (IYCS). He worked in Manila and Paris for 7 years organising and facilitating programs globally.



Cindy Cerquitella is Director of Atlas Leadership Academy at Atlas Network in USA. She graduated from Hillsdale College, where she received a BA in Political Economy. Prior to attending Hillsdale, Cindy spent four years in Budapest, Hungary where her parents ran an International Christian School. Cindy serves as Program Manager of the Atlas Leadership Academy, a new program launching in 2012. She develops training programs, both online and in person to serve the needs of the Atlas Network. Previously, she worked part-time as the Director of Programs, planning events for Americas Future Foundation


Arpita Nepal is Director of Research and Development at Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation in Nepal. She has been engaged in the freedom movement in Nepal for the last decade. She is a student of Economics and specializes in development economics. She has several articles published in major national dailies. She enjoys classical liberal literature and takes an active interest in translating these into Nepali.


Shaza Onn is Senior Executive, Communications Unit, External Relations Division and Senior Researcher in Political Economy and Governance at IDEAS in Malaysia. She was formerly an executive at Bursa Malaysia under Strategy and Transformation and was a Perdana Fellow under the Minister of Finance II, Dato’ Seri Husni Hanadzlah. In 2012 she graduated with a degree in Political Science from Binghamton University. Her honors thesis was entitled, “Constitutional Amendments, Elite Preference and Insufficient Constraints: The Strategic Use of Formal Amendments in Malaysia” which discussed the nature of constitutional change in Malaysia. A budding libertarian, she spends her free time wondering why parties like the Tea Party came into existence.


Azrul Mohd Khalib is Manager of External Relations at IDEAS in Malaysia and has worked as a professional in the non-profit development sector for more than 16 years. He has extensive experience in development programmes and communicating on issues related to social welfare, gender and reproductive health issues such as HIV, gender based violence, and humanitarian assistance. He has previously been with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Azrul has worked in the humanitarian sector with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). He is currently a writer and columnist with two Malaysian media publications, the Malay Mail Online and the China Press.


Tricia Yeoh is Chief Operating Officer of Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs. She was formerly Research Officer to the Selangor Menteri Besar at the Selangor State Government and Director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies, ASLI. She is a regular columnist at the Sun. She is qualified in Econometrics and Marketing from Monash University, and holds a MSc. in Research Methods in Psychology from the University of Warwick. She sits on the Monash University Business SchoolAdvisory Board and is co-editor of the “The Spirit of Merdeka”, editor of “The Road to Reform: Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor” and author of “States of Reform: Governing Selangor and Penang”. She is recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, conferred by the Selangor Sultan in 2011.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan, CEO

Wan Saiful Wan Jan is Chief Executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs He is also Director of the Southeast Asia Network for Development and Chairman of the Istanbul Network for Liberty. In August 2015, he was appointed as a member of the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing, following the Prime Minister’s announcement to set up the group. He is now a columnist for The Star, a national newspaper in Malaysia and also writes for several other national and regional press.  His opinion has been quoted by various media, including the BBC, Reuters, Asian Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Al-Jazeera and The Economist.​

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To register,  click below


To register as a Malaysian students,  click below


For Malaysian students: If you are unable to register on Eventbrite, please click here: http://goo.gl/forms/WzxVMaSal2 . You can then make payments via bank transfer to:

Payment can be made via bank transfer to the following
Account Name : IDEAS Berhad
Bank Name : CIMB Bank
Bank Account No : 800 136 7104
Bank Address : K1, Taman Tunku, Bukit Tunku, 50480, Kuala Lumpur
Swift Code : CIBBMYKL

Email proof of payment to amir@ideas.org.my for further enquiries.

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