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Kuala Lumpur Roundtable offers key policy suggestions to achieve Shared Prosperity 2030

Kuala Lumpur, 5 August 2019 –  Adopting a needs-based affirmative action, reducing the role of GLCs in the economy and reforming the public sector services were among the key suggestions put forth by the newly formed Kuala Lumpur Roundtable (KLR) in its first report released today. The group comprises senior economists, policy experts and corporate figures that aim to act as the advocates for reforms in Malaysia.

The report launched today was based on the discussion during KLR’s inaugural meeting held on 2 July 2019. During the meeting, the focus of discussion was on the government’s recently announced ‘Shared Prosperity 2030’ initiative.

The group has put forth twelve key policy messages:

  1. Promote a Malaysian identity in the national instruments of growth – The roundtable suggests including a multidimensional measure of assessment that involves the nine challenges of the Vision 2020.

  2. Adopting a needs-based approach for economic policies –  Redistributive policies will have to focus on cross-cutting issues of poverty and income inequality that exists within and among all ethnicities, classes, communities and geographical boundaries.

  3. Promote civil society interaction in future policies – To ensure a more holistic measure to achieve economic growth, social inclusivity and sustainable development, the government should include the consultation of various civil society organisations across Malaysia.

  4. Ensure a fairer income for Malaysian workers – Income and wage increases should be handled with long-term solutions such as the strengthening of labour policies, reducing the importation of cheap foreign labour, and utilizing private-sector initiatives to provide better returns to employees.

  5. Addressing the cost of living issue – Regulatory burdens that have resulted in the increased cost of certain goods and services should be adjusted by relaxing price and import controls, as well as implementing regulation holidays on key areas such as e-hailing and housing.

  6. Increasing labour productivity – To promote greater efficiency of education expenditure and improve human capital development, the government should consider decentralising power over the appointments, salaries and curricula in public higher education institutions.

  7. Reduce GLC influence in the Malaysian economy – GLCs should focus on new industries, collaborate more with the private sector and focus on their core activities. The government should lessen their role in controlling GLCs. In order, to promote GLC reform and improve corporate governance, it is necessary to create an independent institutional body or authority to monitor GLCs.

  8. Ratification of the CPTPP to enhance trade with other member countries – Malaysia should make an effort to capitalise on the benefits of free trade and access to 495 million consumers representing 13.5% of the global GDP.

  9. Reforming the pricing of public services – As a means to improve the government balance sheet and include greater targeting of public assistance, the government should consider a restructuring of public service pricing to better reflect the different income levels of its users.

  10. Introduce a reformed VAT – The reformed VAT system should consider differential rates, be progressive in nature, simpler in compliance, and its reintroduction should be accompanied by campaigns of its benefit.

  11. Reducing the size of the public sector workforce – To lighten the government’s operational expenditure, a new scheme should be introduced that allows voluntary early retirement for public sector employees.

  12. Conduct an analysis of the AP license system – Evidence has suggested that this system has led to monopolistic competition, patronage exploitation and ultimately the rising cost of living.

Commenting on this, Ali Salman, CEO of IDEAS, which provides secretarial support to the group, said “The KLR serves as a forum for prominent experts to independently deliberate on Malaysia’s economy, governance and business environment to discuss policy stances with the intention to improve the well-being of all Malaysians. The roundtable believes that reforms should be at the top of the agenda in New Malaysia.”

The First Meeting of the Kuala Lumpur Roundtable was attended Tan Sri Datuk Clifford Francis Herbert, Firoz Abdul Hamid, Dato’ Kong Sooi Lin, Emeritus Prof. Datuk Dr Mohamed Ariff, Tan Sri Professor Dr. Noor Azlan Ghazali, Dato’ Dr R. Thillainathan, Tan Sri Dr. Ramon Navaratnam, Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, Tan Sri Mohd. Sheriff Mohd. Kassim, Professor Yeah Kim Leng, and Tunku Zain Al-’Abidin1. IDEAS members also participated in the First Meeting of the Kuala Lumpur Roundtable discussion, including Senior Fellows, Dr Carmelo Ferlito and Dr Renato Lima de Oliveira; Chief Executive Officer, Ali Salman; Research Director, Laurence Todd; and, Research Manager, Wan Ya Shin.

The report can be accessed here

2019-08-05T16:46:14+00:00 5th August 2019|Media Statements|Comments Off on Kuala Lumpur Roundtable offers key policy suggestions to achieve Shared Prosperity 2030