April 22, 2021 House of Trust

FMT Article: What’s blocking Malaysia’s climb to high-income status

This article written by Imran Ariff was published in Free Malaysia Today.

PETALING JAYA: Political tampering with the economy is interfering with Malaysia’s progress towards becoming a high-income nation, according to an economist.

Benedict Weerasena of Bait Al-Amanah said the prevalence of such tampering and influence on governing institutions and the civil service was “eroding effective economic and financial decision-making”.

Referring to a recent World Bank Group report that foresees the possibility of Malaysia achieving high-income status in the next five years, he said it was “slightly optimistic” but acknowledged that the target was within the realm of possibility if recovery from the pandemic was fast enough, economic growth remained solid and the ringgit stayed stable.

He described political tampering and influence on institutions as being among the “biggest stumbling blocks” and added that reliance on migrant workers had weighed down efforts to promote higher value industries.

To overcome these, he told FMT, pro-market reforms and the development of a business friendly environment would be essential.

Weerasena also called for improved research and development funding to spur innovation.

“Also, Malaysia needs to maximise the potential of its ethnically diverse and multilingual workforce, considering that the three largest ethnic groups in Asia are represented here,” he said.

Another economist, Shankaran Nambiar of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, said the pursuit of high-income status should not come at the expense of broader development that would benefit quality of life.

“Being a high-income country is not an end in itself. There are questions of well-being, a flourishing of capabilities, high standards of governance, and the accomplishment of a sense of freedom that the people of Malaysia have to experience.

“Freedom as expressed by the ability to live a life one chooses is perhaps the most important goal that the country should strive for,” he said.

Weerasena agreed on the importance of looking “beyond the numbers” and viewing the concept of development from a variety of angles.

“If Malaysia becomes a high-income nation while pockets of society are suffering in hardcore poverty and alienated from inclusive growth, this achievement will be rather superficial,” he said.

“Hence, in becoming a high-income country, Malaysia should transition towards better social safety nets, especially for vulnerable groups, and promote economic well-being and social prosperity for all by actively eradicating poverty.”

Related Posts

A Call to Action

May 9, 2019

May 9, 2019

Al-Sharq Youth Conference 2019 For the first time ever, Malaysia was chosen to be the host of the 2019 Al-Sharq...

MIER: 2.4 million Job Losses under Worst Case Scenario

March 30, 2020

March 30, 2020

As of March 30th 2020, Malaysia recorded 156 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number to 2,626. The good news...

Senarai Kabinet Malaysia 2020

March 9, 2020

March 9, 2020

Menteri Kanan – Menteri Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin AliTimbalan Menteri: Datuk Lim Ban Hong (akan...

Dependency Dilemma of Foreign Workers in Johor

August 27, 2019

August 27, 2019

“They build our cities, they serve us teh tarik, they raise our children, yet we don’t want too many of...

Social Statistics Malaysia 2018

January 10, 2019

January 10, 2019

The Department of Statistics Malaysia recently released the Social Statistics Bulletin Malaysia 2018. This interesting bulletin which is based on...

Economic Outlook 2019

December 19, 2018

December 19, 2018

The Fiscal and Economics Division of the Ministry of Finance Malaysia recently released the Economic Outlook 2019. Here are a...

The Malaysian Insight Article: Career prospects of fresh graduates unlikely to improve soon

March 24, 2021

March 24, 2021

Fresh graduates are not likely to see better job prospects in the near future even as the Covid-19 threat is...

Polemik Jawi & Pendidikan Liberal

August 16, 2019

August 16, 2019

Banyak yang telah dibahaskan tentang khat Jawi di Malaysia akhir-akhir ini. Yang jelas, isu ini telah begitu dipolitikkan sehingga tersasar...

Parliament Should Reconvene Immediately To Table The 12th Malaysia Plan

March 10, 2021

March 10, 2021

Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas Wednesday, 10 March 2021: The CME-BAA Macroeconomic Observatory (MEO), a joint platform promoted by the...

Kad Laporan Pencapaian Kerajaan Johor 2013-2018

March 26, 2018

March 26, 2018

Bertemakan ‘Membangun Dekad Baharu Johor’, Kad Laporan  Pencapaian Kerajaan Johor 2013-2018 memaparkan prestasi cemerlang kerajaan BN Johor yang merangkumi pelbagai aspek termasuk ekonomi, perumahan dan pemilikan tanah, infrastruktur awam, membasmi kemiskinan,...

By the Children, With The Children, For The Children

November 25, 2019

November 25, 2019

“Dear adults, please listen to us. Please listen to our voices. Let’s work together.” Those were simple but powerful words...

Media Statement: Budget 2020 Roundtable Dialogue

September 18, 2019

September 18, 2019

The Bipartisan Budget 2020 Roundtable Dialogue with the Theme “United We Tack to Avoid Potential Recession” was successfully held on...

FMT Article: High debt-to-GDP ratio not a major concern

April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

Photo by FMT The article written by Samuel Chua was published in Free Malaysia Today PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s household debt-to-GDP...

Statut Rom dan Kedaulatan Negara

April 1, 2019

April 1, 2019

Sejak kebelakangan ini, isu Malaysia menandatangani Statut Rom atau ‘Rome Statute’ kerap dibincangkan dan dibahaskan oleh pakar undang-undang. Hal ini...

Recalibrating Markets, Firms, Society and People

October 11, 2018

October 11, 2018

Summary of YAB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin bin Ali’s Opening Address at Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2018 Earlier this week at the...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *