Author: Jayant Menon
Date: 18 December 2017
The role that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) or, more generally, government-linked companies (GLCs) play in the Malaysia economy is widespread and pervasive. In terms of countries that have the highest SOE presence among their largest firms, Malaysia ranks fifth highest in the world. The Economic Transformation Program (ETP) has called for a reduced role of government in business, and a program of divestment was concluded in 2015.
Author: Hafiz Noor Shams
Date: 5 December 2017
In light of the ever growing concern over the rise in cost of living due to the rise in prices, one of government’s effort to manage consumer prices in Malaysia is assessed in this new paper by IDEAS. IDEAS’ new policy paper on “Anti-profiteering Regulations: Effects on Consumer Prices & Business Margins” explores the effectiveness of the Price Control Act as well as the potential effects of the anti-profiteering regulations. The research is based on meetings with government officials as well as on statistics from the Companies Commission, Department of Statistics and the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism.
Edited by: Wan Saiful Wan Jan
Date: 16 November 2017
The briefing paper contains case studies of how citizens can benefit from reforms that are driven by the desire to serve the people, rather than blind ideology. The paper explains that debates around the provision of water services have frequently been shaped by those who are anti-privatisation for ideological reasons rather than because of facts and data. But real improvements can be achieved only if analysts and policymakers avoid falling into the ideological debate and focus instead on pragmatically choosing the best way to serve consumers, including by getting the private sector involved.
Author: Adli Amirullah, Amirah Fazira and Ali Salman
Date: 31 October 2017
Trade integration offers opportunities for economic growth. However, high domestic taxes, lax border enforcement, and supply constraints can lead to an increase in illicit trade flows thus, reducing benefits of trade openness. As Malaysia becomes more integrated as a result of existing and prospective free trade agreements, it also faces the risks of an increase in illicit trade flows barring significant domestic reforms.
Author: Nicholas Chan
Date: 18 October 2017
This paper examines decentralisation as a potential policy option for the Malaysian Inspector General of Police’s (IGP) office given the issues of accountability and overcentralisation. It is a continuation of a previous IDEAS policy paper (Strengthening the Royal Malaysia Police by Enhancing Accountability) that discusses the failure of oversight bodies in enhancing the accountability of the IGP’s office due to the lack of greater structural reforms.
Author: Wan Saiful Wan Jan
Date: 2 August 2017
In order to meet today’s global challenges, and improve the international standing of Malaysian universities, it is important for them to improve research and academic excellence. But in order to get there, financial viability is needed. This paper will explore the concept of financial autonomy and current policies on public university funding by the Malaysian Government. Finally, it will discuss necessary the steps to assist Malaysian universities in becoming more financially autonomous.
Author: Munif Zarirruddin Fikri Nordin
Date: 12 July 2017
A university has its various roles. It is an indicator of civilization; it serves to develop a country, educate its students, and produce leaders for the needs of the nation. In a successful national higher education system these roles are closely associated with academic freedom and university autonomy.
Author: Chang-Da Wan
Date: 30 June 2017
During his New Year’s speech in 2012, then Minister of Higher Education, Mohamed Khaled Nordin announced that Malaysia’s five public universities, the oldest in the country, would be given an autonomous status.
But are Malaysian universities truly autonomous? And if so, how did they lack independence from the government in the past? Has there ever been a point in our history where higher education institutions were fully autonomous?
Author: Dr. Sean Matthews
Date: 7 June 2017
What can Malaysia learn from other countries about autonomy and accountability in Higher Education? There is much that is distinctive about every national context, perhaps especially the Malaysian one, but in the era of globalization tertiary sectors around the world face many similar challenges.
Author: Roy Lee
Date: 28 February 2017
In his paper, “Upgrading Democracy: ‘Soft Laws’ and the Ombudsman”, Guernsey legislative counsel member and solicitor Roy Lee, makes an argument for the creation of the Office of the Ombudsman in order to protect democratic governance in Malaysia. Although soft law institutions like the Ombudsman have no power to make legally binding decisions, they are essential in ensuring that public officials remain accountable, transparent and fair in their actions and decisions.
Author: Christopher Leong
Date: 22 February 2017
Despite the introduction of the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 (the Act), whistleblowing is still a rare occurrence in Malaysia. In fact, the annual report from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2012 indicates that out of a total of 8,953 complaints received by the Commission only 28 were from whistleblowers. However, data from the US suggests that as a method of detection whistleblowing is the single most effective means of uncovering graft. Considering the importance of whistleblowers in discovering cases of fraud the low number of whistleblowers as observed through the MACC statistics suggest that whistleblowers in Malaysia remain hesitant.
Author: Philip Stevens
Date: 25 December 2016
Since the middle of the twentieth century, the world has made great progress fighting diseases transmitted by vectors such as mosquitoes, ticks and sandflies, particularly malaria. However, this progress is threatened by a surge in other vector-borne diseases such as dengue, Zika and cikungunya.
Malaysia is particularly badly hit by these three diseases, despite having nearly eliminated malaria. Given that until recently there have been no effective treatments or vaccines for these three diseases, Malaysia has focused its efforts on vector control in order to prevent disease spread and transmission.
Authors: Aira Nur Ariana Azhari and Lim Wei Jiet
Date: 12 December 2016
The removal of the former Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail at the height of investigations on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and its accumulated debt of RM42 billion raises concerns over the fragility of the Attorney General’s position and his ability to prosecute cases independently. More importantly, the incident demonstrates a serious need to separate the office of the Attorney General and that of the Public Prosecutor – so that each party can act freely without fear or favour.
Author: Nicholas Chan
Date: 4 November 2016
This paper examines the structural design and institutional features that empower Malaysia’s top cop, the Inspector General of Police (IGP). The IGP wields considerable power: he sits atop a hierarchical structure that spans multiple policing competencies across the country. The IGP’s powers are further strengthened by a slew of controversial legislative instruments that afford him a great deal of latitude in choosing when and how to apply the laws.
Author: Dr Razeen Sally
Date: 29 June 2016
Kebebasan kian dikikis saban hari di serata dunia, sepertimana yang boleh dilihat di Timur Tengah, Asia Selatan, dan Eropah. Namun, masih terdapat sinar harapan untuk kebebasan dari segi ekonomi. Pengarang Dr. Razeen Sally bermula dengan mengimbas kembali kepada asal usul falsafah liberalisme di Asia dan kemakmuran yang telah dicapai sebelum penjajahan Barat. Jalan Sutera, entrepot Melaka, dan kejayaan empayar India and China yang berjaya khususnya melalui persaingan dalam pasaran bebas, suatu prinsip liberalisme ekonomi yang boleh dilihat pada hari ini. Justeru, kedatangan penjajah Barat telah melenyapkan insititusi liberalisme, sehinggalah abad ke-19, apabila Singapura telah diasaskan oleh Stamford Raffles. Namun begitu, penyebaran liberalisme di Asia terpaksa menempuh pelbagai halangan, sehinggalah ke hari ini.
Author: Shanuja Chandran
Date: 21 June 2016
Caring for a child with special needs results in increased spending for families. In addition to direct costs of intervention such as healthcare, education, and medical treatment, parents may also lose income due to missing work, lower productivity, and having to resign from their jobs in order to care for their child. In Malaysia, the cost of 4 sessions of occupational therapy per month takes up approximately 13% of the average household income for a family in the bottom 40%.
Author: Dr. Stefan Melnik
Date: 20 May 2016
Political parties lie at the heart of every democracy in the 21st century, championing the interests of different voters and contributing to society. Central to their continued growth is political financing and its regulation, which differs in the hundreds of democratic countries around the world.
In Policy IDEAS № 29, Dr. Stefan Melnik outlines the role of political parties and the types of financing they receive, as well as identifying the key tenets that should be the foundation of any regulation of political financing.
Author: Sri Murniati
Date: 8 April 2016
This paper provides detailed information on which aspects within each budget document that should be improved. It points out the missing information that the government can add to the current document in order for it to be more useful for budget monitoring purposes. The improvements can be done in stages. For a start, the government can begin by publishing the currently unavailable documents or improving the comprehensiveness of the ones that are currently available.
Author: Dr Razeen Sally
Date: 29 March 2016
This paper will explain on how can capitalism thrive in Asia. Capitalism’s regulations and institutions vary enormously across Asia. So do political systems. Asia has only five high income countries: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. They have living standards equivalent to those in the West. China, Malaysia and Thailand are in the upper middle-income bracket. Most Asian countries are lower middle income, including India, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. And some are still very poor. Nepal and Cambodia are still in the low income bracket; Bangladesh, Laos, Myanmar and East Timor are only slightly above it. There is also large variation within countries. China’s first tier cities and coastal provinces have much higher living standards than its lower-tier cities and interior provinces. Similar gaps exist in India.