Affin Hwang Capital

Malaysia at the Crossroads – Where to from Here?

19 April 2013

The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur
12:00 — 17:00

Three panel discussions and presentations on Malaysian economics covering the ASEAN community, institutions and the economy, and economic policy.

12.00 pm

Registration & Lunch

1.30 pm

Opening Speech by YBhg. Gen. Tan Sri Yaacob bin Mohd Zain (R)
Chairman, Affin Investment Bank

1.40 pm

Panel Discussion
ASEAN Economic Community (AEC): Positioning in the Face of Oppurtunities and Challenges
Moderated by YBhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohamed Jawhar bin Hassan
Chairman, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia

Panelists
• Mr. Steven C.M. Wong - Senior Director, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Malaysia
• Madam Sanchita Basu Dass - ASEAN Studies Centre of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore
• Mr. Ku Kok Peng - Director, NKEA (Palm Oil & ETP Investment), PEMANDU

2.40 pm

Tea Break

2.50 pm

Presentation
Our Institutions and the Economy
by YAM Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin ibni Tuanku Muhriz
Founding President, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)

3.20 pm

Panel Discussion
Economic Policy: Efficiency and Effectiveness
Moderated by YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr. Sulaiman bin Mahbob
Chairman, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER)

Panelists
• YBhg. Datuk Ahmad Zaki bin Zahid - Managing Director, QSR Brands (M) Holdings Sdn Bhd (QSR)
• Dr. Ong Kian Ming - Visiting Contributor, Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
• Encik Wan Saiful bin Wan Jan - Founding Chief Executive, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)

5.00 pm

End

Panel Discussion I - ASEAN Economic Community (AEC): Positioning in the Face of Opportunities and Challenges

Private investment has recovered in recent years and become an engine of economic growth for Malaysia. Some attribute this growth to the significant progress made by the implementation of the Government's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and Strategic Reform Initiatives (SRIs), which have provided greater policy clarity and facilitation of investment opportunities for businesses. Their success will help to further improve Malaysia’s investment climate and hence promoting both domestic direct investment (DDI) and foreign direct investment (FDI). Since the launch of the ETP initiatives in October 2010, the contribution to GDP from private investment has risen from 12.5% of GDP in 2010 to 15.5% of GDP in 2012, with an average annual growth rate of 16% over the period (compared with an average annual growth rate of 2.8% from 2006-2009).

The question now facing many investors is how both the ETP and SRIs will position Malaysia within ASEAN as we make the transition from a low-cost producer leveraging on our natural resources advantage into a high income, high value-add economy as envisioned by the ETP. This panel explores several key questions:

  • How effective has the ETP really been in helping Malaysia make this transition?
  • ASEAN integration: is this something desirable, or something to be worried about - how will Malaysia's competitive dynamics shift in relation to its ASEAN peer group as a result of the transition?
  • ASEAN integration: is this something desirable, or something to be worried about - how will Malaysia's competitive dynamics shift in relation to its ASEAN peer group as a result of the transition?
  • An analysis of the AEC’s role in "road mapping" the economic development for the region

Panel Discussion II - Economic Policy: Efficiency and Effectiveness

The economic policy setting thought process has shifted dramatically in line with the growth and evolution of the Malaysian economy and changing external landscape. The increasing integration amongst global economies, where international macroeconomic developments play a more pervasive role in shaping the Malaysian domestic economy, also weigh heavily on the thoughts of economic policy makers. While public investment share to GDP has remained at an average of 10.7% since 2009, the private investment share of GDP has risen to an average of 13.3% in the last three years, with the nominal private investment value reaching a high of RM139.5bn in 2012 (RM111.8bn in 2011): critically highlighting the importance of efficient and effective economic policy in building private sector investment confidence.

Institutional investors keenly watch the policy space, recognising that shifts in policy thoughts often have far-reaching implications on the investment landscape. This panel explores some of the trends policy makers and advisors are seeing in relation to the following areas:

  • Strategic Reform Initiatives - Key policies to enhance Malaysia's competitive edge internationally.
  • Human capital development - Upgrading Malaysia's talent pool in preparation for the transformation into a high income economy.
  • Private sector driven economy - The policy environment for ensuring a stable, business-friendly environment

Panel Discussion I - ASEAN Economic Community (AEC): Positioning in the Face of Opportunities and Challenges

Panelist

Mr. Steven C.M. Wong
Senior Director, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Malaysia

Mr. Steven C.M. Wong is a Senior Director of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia where he heads the economics division. Steven specialises in macroeconomic and international finance but has wide-ranging interests which include institutional economics, international relations and theology.

Steven’s work has been published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the East Asian Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, the Australian National University, and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. His latest contribution is a chapter on Malaysia’s financial sector and capital markets in a book entitled Malaysia: Policies and Issues in Economic Development. He is currently a columnist for the New Straits Times.

Steven received his graduate and post-graduate education at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Panelist

Madam Sanchita Basu Dass
ASEAN Studies Centre of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore

Ms. Sanchita Basu Das is a Fellow of Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore, where she is Lead Researcher for Economic Affairs in its ASEAN Studies Centre, as well as the coordinator of its Singapore APEC Study Centre.

Sanchita writes book chapters and articles regularly on economic and financial issues facing Southeast Asia and ASEAN Regionalism. She has edited two special issues of the ASEAN Economic Bulletin. She is the author of Road to Recovery: Singapore's Journey through the Global Crisis and editor of Achieving the ASEAN Economic Community 2015: Challenges for Member Countries and Businesses, and Enhancing ASEAN Connectivity.

Sanchita has an MBA from the National University of Singapore and an MA from the Delhi School of Economics, India.

Panelist

Mr. Ku Kok Peng
NKEA (Palm Oil & ETP Investment), PEMANDU

Mr. Ku Kok Peng joined The Performance Management & Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) in 2010 as Associate Director for Communications and Investor Relations. In 2011, Ku was appointed Director for Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) Investment, working with various investment agencies and regional corridors to coordinate, promote, track and report on investments. He is also a permanent member representing PEMANDU on the Investment Committee. In 2012, he added Palm Oil & Rubber to his National Key Economic Areas (NKRA) portfolio, heading the transformation of Malaysia’s third largest economic sector.

Ku trained professionally at Fleishman-Hillard’s Leadership Institute for Managers in Kuala Lumpur, Omnicom University’s Advanced Management Programme at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai, and Senior Management Programme at Babson College in Boston, USA.

Ku graduated with a Bachelor of Law from the University of London and holds a Certificate of Legal Practice. Presently, he is also a Fellow and Advisor to the Public Relations Consultants’ Association of Malaysia (PRCA Malaysia)

Presentation

YAM Tunku Zain Al-'Abidin ibni Tuanku Muhriz
Founding President, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)

YAM Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin ibni Tuanku Muhriz is the Founding President of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), which he co-founded in 2006 when it was known as the Malaysia Think-Tank.

Tunku ‘Abidin sits on the Board of Trustee of Yayasan Munarah, Yayasan Chow Kit and Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, and he is an Honorary Major in Regiment 508 of the Askar Wataniah. He has a weekly column, Roaming Beyond the Fence, in The Star, and authored the official book for the Installation of the Yang di-Pertuan Besar and also led a major project to revitalise the Negeri Sembilan State Anthem.

Tunku ‘Abidin obtained his BSc in Government and Sociology and MSc in Comparative Politics and Imperial History from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Panel Discussion II - Economic Policy: Efficiency and Effectiveness

Moderator

YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr. Sulaiman bin Mahbob
Chairman, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER)

Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr. Sulaiman Mahbob is the Chairman of Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER). He served the Government of Malaysia with distinction for over 38 years where he held various senior positions, culminating in his appointment as Director-General of the Economic Planning Unit (2006-2009) prior to his retirement from civil service.

Tan Sri Sulaiman is currently the Chairman of Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd, and sits on the Boards of Bank Negara Malaysia and Institute of Strategic & International Studies (ISIS). He is an Adjunct Professor (Economics) at the University of Malaya, Universiti Utara Malaysia and Universiti Tun Abd Razak (UNITAR). He is an active contributor of articles on the Malaysian economy in local media, especially for The Star and New Straits Times.

Tan Sri Sulaiman obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Malaya, Master of Science from University of London, and PhD at Syracuse University, New York. He attended a course on World Currency reform at Harvard University, USA in 1999.

Panelist

YBhg. Datuk Ahmad Zaki bin Zahid
Managing Director, QSR Brands (M) Holdings Sdn Bhd (QSR)

Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid is the Managing Director of QSR Brands (M) Holdings Sdn Bhd (QSR Brands). He has held many senior positions with the Government, where his last position was Head of Policy and Special Officer to the Prime Minister in 2009.

Datuk Ahmad Zaki was elected as a member of the National Executive Committee of UMNO Youth in 2009. He was previously the Treasurer of Federal Territory UMNO Youth (2004-2009) and has been UMNO Youth chief of Putrajaya Division since 2004.

Datuk Ahmad Zaki graduated with a Bachelor of Law from the University of Bristol, England and received his Certificate in Legal Practice in 1997.

Panelist

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Visiting Contributor, Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)

Dr. Ong Kian Ming is a lecturer and political analyst at UCSI University, where he is currently on extended leave. He is a visiting contributor to the Research for Social Advancement (REFSA) where he writes focus papers examining the impact of the Economic Transformation Program (ETP), and a Director of Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (MERAP).

Kian Ming joined the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in 2012 and is its election strategist. He is a regular contributor to Malaysiakini and The Edge Financial Daily.

Kian Ming graduated with a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and PhD in Political Science from Duke University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.

Panelist

Encik Wan Saiful bin Wan Jan
Founding Chief Executive, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS

Encik Wan Saiful Wan Jan is the Founding Chief Executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and a Director of CfBT Education Malaysia.

Wan Saiful is the Editor of AkademiMerdeka.org (a project of Atlas Global Initiative), Vice President of the Istanbul Network for Liberty, and a member of the Academic Working Group at Razak School of Government. In 2011, he became the only Malaysian to be a member of the Mont Pelerin Society. He writes for The Edge and Singapore Straits Times.

Wan Saiful graduated with BA (Hons) in Management from Northumbria University, UK and MSc in Research Methodologies from Middlesex University, UK.

Disclaimer: Comments & recommendations highlighted in the seminar rely on the individual opinions of the ones providing the comments & recommendations. These opinions may not fit to your financial status, risk & return preferences & hence an independent evaluation is essential. Investors are advised to independently evaluate particular investments and strategies & to seek independent financial, legal & other advice on the information and/or opinion contained in the seminar before investing & participating in any of the securities or investment strategies & transactions.