How is Malaysia Faring Under its 12th Plan? Are major revisions required?
Published: Sep 22, 2023 6:49 AM
Updated: Mar 15, 2024 6:49 AM

The 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) was introduced as a response to the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and outlined a strategy for fostering five years of prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable growth in Malaysia. Therefore, a Parliamentary session has been scheduled from September 11th to 19th to conduct a Mid-Term Review of the 12MP. This review aims to comprehensively assess the progress made, identify challenges, and make necessary adjustments as required.

Today’s talk will focus on how these two plans can coexist and mutually reinforce their objectives, leading to robust deliberations. This forum includes the Moderator, Karamjit Singh, CEO, Digital News Asia, featuring Members of Parliament, YBhg. Datuk Dr Zunika binti Mohamed, Deputy Secretary General (Policy), Ministry of Economy. Distinguished Professor Dato' Dr Rajah Rasiah, University of Malaya, and Dr. Nungsari Ahmad Radhi, Member, ACFIN

Malaysia's Economy Madani Framework and the Path to 2030: A Midterm Review

The discussion started with Dr. Nungsari Ahmad Radhi, where Malaysia's plan is all about development and expenditure, installing new capacity in the economy. He said; “The Economy Madani framework has defined targets for the next 10 years. Additionally, the framework's agenda includes physical reforms, such as allocation for development on both the revenue side and expenditure side. Now is it time to do a reform/midterm review on what constitutes the development expenditure portion”

YBhg. Datuk Dr. Zunika binti Mohamed added insights about the impact and challenges on the economy, emphasizing the demand for transformational development in the review. Following that, Professor Dato' Dr. Rajah Rasiah mentioned that national empowerment seems much more incisive as more focused attention is being given to digitalization and climate resilience, which is visible in the industrial master plan. In the end, he emphasizes that there is hope that the government's implementation of the framework will bring about the reversal of the growing deficit.

Evaluating the Need for Significant Revisions

During the discussion, Dr. Nungsari Ahmad Radhi highlighted that one of the key targets of the Economy Madani framework is to boost female labor force participation. He suggested that instead of solely focusing on economic growth, a more transformational objective would be to increase the shared labor income, as this would address a crucial aspect of the equation; “This transformational objective is measured by indicators such as the share of labor income in total income while supporting small and medium enterprises”. Professor Dato' Dr. Rajah Rasiah also further emphasized that the vision of Malaysia Madani is already becoming evident in the country's economic landscape.

A Comparison Between Ekonomi Madani and Previous Economic Models in Malaysia

Dr. Nungsari Ahmad Radhi elucidated that Ekonomi Madani is essentially a civilization grounded in values such as institutional economics. The reliance on institutions not only reduces transaction costs but also the accumulation of social capital, further enhancing human and financial capital in the process, and ultimately contributing to economic production. 

This approach places a heightened emphasis on fostering equitable growth, increasing participation, and social safety nets. In its quest to underscore regional competitiveness, stimulate the emergence of new enterprises, and disrupt the cycle of income deprivation; “Madani strives for comprehensive societal progress”

Professor Dato' Dr. Rajah Rasiah addresses his concern that subsequent development plans emphasize largely the global economy, requiring our policies to adapt accordingly. Hence, the problems of the poor gradually disappeared. In addition to merely assessing the external economy's impact, we must evaluate whether our plans are effective.

Strategies for Ensuring a Skeptical Public Views Midterm Reviews as Genuine Analysis and Framework

Dr. Nungsari Ahmad Radhi emphasized that "The proof is actually in the implementation," highlighting the fact that debt is increasing faster than our revenue, necessitating a comprehensive understanding that all policy decisions will have trade-offs, with a focus on achieving more equitable outcomes.

Professor Dato' Dr. Rajah Rasiah also stressed that "We need to convince the civil servants and employ the term 'empathy' strongly in our approach. We have the capacity to mobilize people, and our goal should be to snowball this momentum, encouraging active participation rather than fostering skepticism and constant questioning."

Status of Malaysian Women under 12th Malaysian Plan

YBhg. Datuk Dr. Zunika binti Mohamed concluded the forum by pointing out that the government is actively addressing the root cause of issues, seeking incentives and programs under review to achieve long-term targets. Furthermore, the government is committed to closing the gap by ensuring women's inclusion in decision-making processes and introducing innovative approaches to circumvent existing circumstances, all while prioritizing the enhancement of the quality of the education system and addressing demand-side dynamics to optimize output.

Watch Top In Tech Ep36 How is Malaysia Faring Under its 12th Plan? Are major revisions required? - HERE

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