On 8 February 2018, IDEAS celebrated its 8th Anniversary in conjunction with the 115th birthday of our first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj at Nexus Connexion Centre, Bangsar South with our friends and supporters. Our Anniversary dinner, themed For A Better Malaysia, was a grand success. In typical IDEAS fashion, we began the ceremony with a welcome remark by our Founding President, Tunku Zain Al-Abidin ibni Tuanku Muhriz.
The event gave us an opportunity to present our annual report on IDEAS’ work throughout 2017. Important research was done on issues such as the autonomy of universities, ownership and control of government-linked companies, the causes and consequences of illicit trade and the decentralisation of the Malaysian police force.
This year’s dinner event included a spectacular panel discussion entitled “Malaysia Outlook 2018: Where Are We Heading?” which was chaired and moderated by our CEO, Wan Saiful Wan Jan. The panelists were Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Abdul Gani Patail; former Attorney General, Christopher Leong; former Bar Council President, and our Chairman Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria.
Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail believed that transparency and accountability are key factors that contribute toward happiness of the public. He noted his speech by saying: “I want assurance of independence of certain institutions as guaranteed in the Constitution.”
IDEAS Chairman Tan Sri Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, who is also the former secretary-general of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, credited the public sector for upholding some sort of transparency when performing its tasks.
“But going forward, we need to do more. If Malaysia wants to be competitive in a world where other countries are fast catching up with us, we have to up our game. That is why we are talking about building resilience within institutions, higher levels of governance, integrity… These are the things that will take us to the next level,” Sta Maria added.
In addition, Christopher Leong emphasized on how institutions play a key role in nation-building. He believed that it is not just about professionalism or institutions having the ability to work and achieve their objectives. He also mentioned that Malaysia strongly needs not only capable institutions, but also independent institutions for resilience.
At this year’s dinner RM286,376 was raised to support IDEAS research and advocacy work and we are most grateful for the support of individuals and corporations who were there or in spirit. To realise all our plans for this year, we need to raise RM 1 million in total. Join our donor programme to play a part in steering this nation towards liberty and justice for all.