Date: December 2018
Malaysia’s paddy and rice sector is one of the most assisted and subsidized industries within the country, which has severe implications on the cost of rice production as well as the productivity of the industry. The government is faced with a challenging sectorial objective to balance between national food security, farmer welfare and low consumer prices.With the paddy sector’s stagnating productivity growth and the subsidy programs presenting an ever-increasing fiscal burden, there is a call to review and recalibrate how we approach these challenges.
In 2018, IDEAS conducted a research study of 125 interviews with paddy farmers from two major granary areas, MADA and IADABLS, to explore the efficacy of subsidies in Malaysia’s paddy sector in improving farmers’ welfare. Additional data were collected through focus group discussions with farmers and institutional officers to cross-reference the data collected. This Policy Ideas presents the findings of the study and the impact that agricultural subsidies have on farmers’ yield, income, cost and behavior.
Date: August 2018
A lack of access to financial markets is a common challenge faced by the poor across ASEAN countries. Without access to traditional lines of credit or banking, the poor and undocumented often rely on informal means to manage their money. Moneylending is a form of informal financing that has played an important role in facilitating private sector growth and the livelihood of communities that fall beyond the reach of the formal financial system.
There is much confusion among the public in Malaysia between licensed money lending and loan sharking, negatively tainting the reputation of licensed moneylenders. In addition, some think that licensed moneylenders have the same business model and operate exactly like a bank. To deal with these issues and other misconceptions faced by the industry, a heavy handed enforcement approach has been adopted by the government. These efforts empower the police and authorities with increasing powers, and has resulted in unintended consequences that choke the operations of licensed moneylenders.
Intellectual property protection has a positive effect on all four economic indicators: gross domestic product (GDP), trade, foreign direct investments (FDI) and the level of innovation. The confidence it gives investors leads to inflows of foreign capital that promote technology competition, which in turn fosters innovation. As a result, higher quality goods and service are produced within the country more efficiently. This would increases the competitive advantage of the county in terms of exports and positively impact its GDP growth.
This paper presents the state of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection in ASEAN using the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) Index and ascertains why some countries have been more successful in safeguarding IPR compared with others. The GIPC Index evaluates the level of IP protection in a country based on 30 indicators. In ASEAN, countries have significantly varied performances with countries like Singapore and Malaysia performing well, while Thailand and Vietnam perform poorly.
Studies have shown that better health outcomes are reached with increased trade openness and human development, particularly in lower-income countries. To facilitate international trade and catalyse economic growth, countries should promote robust intellectual property rights (IPR). A strong and effective IPR system will support, protect and stimulate innovation. It will also encourage transfers of technology and increase the availability of products in new markets.
The link between IPR protection and drug affordability is controversial. The price of medicine is strongly influenced by the considerable amounts of money that is invested by pharmaceutical companies into the development of new treatments, the majority of which fail. Generics have an important role to play in adjusting price mechanisms but are sometimes an unreliable substitute. A number of developing countries have argued that IPR can hamper their ability to intervene in public health matters and decrease accessibility, but this paper suggest that steps can be taken to mitigate these concerns.
Despite a moratorium by the Indonesian government rejecting new logging concessions since May 2011, Indonesia saw 840,000 hectares of forests cleared in 2012 and deforestation levels continue to increase at an alarming rate every year. International experiences have shown that chances of sustainable long-term forest management improve when the ownership and management of forest resources remain with local communities.