Like many of its ASEAN neighbours, Malaysia needs to find new sources of economic growth and job creation to help it transition to a higher-income economy. Reorienting the economy towards knowledge-based industries will be essential. Astrong framework of intellectual property rights (IPRs) will be fundamental to achieving this, as it will allow the Philippines integrate deeper into global R&D networks and manufacturing value-chains, which are increasingly knowledge-based.
This report looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the Malaysian framework for the protection of IPRs, compares it to ASEAN neighbours, and outlines an agenda for reform. The report is a collaboration between six think tanks from five ASEAN countries.
The report shows that despite recent improvements the strength, scope and efficiency of the IP framework in the Malaysia is still well below the highest global standards. Nevertheless, it ranks above Thailand and Indonesia in international comparative indices.
Concluding with a number of specific reform recommendations, the report argues that strong IPRs need to be at the centre of national economic development and investment promotion strategies.
The Kuala Lumpur Roundtable (KLR) is a panel of economists, policy experts and corporate figures with the ambition to act as the conscience of the nation and the advocates for reform in Malaysia. Its mission is to improve the wellbeing of all Malaysians as well as to showcase Malaysia as a successful example of economic development. The KLR contributes to this mission through providing constructive recommendations to the government after critical deliberations on the country’s current economic, social and governance challenges. This report summarises the KLR discussion by highlighting the most pertinent issues and presenting the reader with the conclusions reached at each Roundtable discussion.
This first session’s primary focus was Shared Prosperity, taking both a long- and short-term perspective. It emphasized the idea that continued focus on growth is important and should be achieved through commitment to free trade policies and fiscal reforms. This perspective should be supported by more effective investment in human capital following the idea that Malaysia needs to create prosperity before sharing it. Overall, the panel agreed on the need for greater community engagement, reduced government involvement in business, as well as less dependency on foreign labor to promote growth towards 4IR and capital-intensive production. To approach the next ten years under the vision of shared prosperity, the government has to undergo significant institutional reform.
Date: June 2019
This is the second Projek Pantau Report Card. The first Report, published in April 2019, was a Pilot Report, on which this Report builds with various revisions based on feedback and corrections. Given the relatively short time between this Report Card and the First Report Card, there are relatively few major updates. The First Report Card covered the period from 9 May 2018 until 31st March 2019. This Second Report Card includes the period from 1st April 2019 to 14th June 2019. From now on Report Cards will be published every 6 months, in June and December each year. In addition, this Second Report Card includes a number of new promises. We have chosen to analyse a total of 224 sub-promises, broken down from 27 main promises. We are focusing on promises which relate to the economy, institutional reforms and education, and are therefore considering all promises under Pillar 1 (Reduce the People’s Burden) and Pillar 3 (Spur Sustainable and Equitable Economic Growth), alongside five promises from Pillar 2 (Institutional Reforms) and Pillar 5 (Create a Malaysia that is Inclusive, Moderate and Respected Globally), which we consider to be very important for the government to tackle in the next four years of the Pakatan Harapan government’s first term of administration. In order to reach the conclusion for each promise, we have analysed any publicly available information such as news reports and government policy documents. A detailed description of the methodology is provided in the Appendix.
Date: April 2019
Projek Pantau is inspired by this spirit of openness in the New Malaysia. The intention is to provide a transparent assessment of the government’s performance in delivering its manifesto promises relating to the economy. The project will include a series of “report cards” assessing the government’s performance to date – of which this is the first. The purpose of this report card is to provide a benchmark in which the Rakyat can evaluate the government’s performance in fulfilling their manifesto promises. In addition, this report card is also intended to be a document that the PH government can use as a reference in their ongoing efforts to realise their reform agenda.
For this first report, we have chosen to analyse a total of 192 sub-promises, broken down from 23 main promises. We are focusing on promises which relate to the economy, and are therefore considering all promises under Pillar 1 (Reduce the People’s Burden) and Pillar 3 (Spur Sustainable and Equitable Economic Growth), alongside three promises from Pillar 2 (Institutional and Political Reforms), that we consider to be critical to the government’s economic agenda, specifically the promises relating to Government Linked Companies (GLCs), public procurement and the budget. In future report cards we will consider expanding the number of promises.
For each sub-promise we have scored the government’s i) political commitment, ii) policy direction and iii) implementation. Based on these scores we have then given each promise an overall “verdict”. To reach these conclusions we have analysed publicly available information such as news reports and government policy documents. We have taken account of any publicly available information up until 31 March 2019. Inevitably, reaching judgements in the government’s performance is subjective, so we have engaged other civil society organisations and experts on our scores and provided explanatory notes for our assessments. We welcome feedback on the analysis provided here – our aim is to support and stimulate discussion.
Date: March 2019
The Hinrich Foundation, Malaysia Australia Business Council, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and AlphaBeta launched a new report, titled, “The Data Revolution: How Malaysia can capture the digital trade opportunity at home and abroad”, on March 20, 2019.
The report examines the current and potential impact of digital trade at home and quantifies the economic value of technological gains enabled by digital trade. It also recommends perceived concerns related to digital trade and how they can be addressed.
The report finds digital exports of Malaysia accounts for about 3 percent of total export value today, but this could grow by a massive 298 percent in the absence of digital trade barriers.
Date: December 2018
In this report under the API we consider the economic relationship between ASEAN and the European Union (EU). The comparison is often made between these two regional blocs, which represent the two leading efforts to integrate their respective regions. The EU’s economic integration is significantly deeper and supported by a far more developed institutional and legal framework. The EU is in general more economically developed than ASEAN and is also more homogeneous in its level of development across its Member States than is the case across the 10 members of ASEAN. Although both have been widening over the years by accepting new members, this has added more to ASEAN’s overall diversity than it has the EU’s, further increasing the overall heterogeneity between the two groupings. Despite these differences, we believe that ASEAN and the EU share an essential similarity: they are both groupings of countries that recognise the importance of regional integration and the benefits of trade and investment in the context of a rules-based system. We therefore believe that putting the economic relations between the EU and ASEAN on the best possible footing is crucial to the long-term prosperity of ASEAN, as well as the EU.