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Malaysia

Why it’s important to look beyond averages when it comes to Malaysia’s development

Richard Record's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Melayu
As Malaysia moves closer towards achieving high-income country status, it is important to be aware of the broader aspects of development that are not captured by GDP growth. 
(Photo: Getty Images/Anadolu Agency)

Malaysia is a remarkable country by many metrics, highlighted by the Growth Commission as one of the world’s fastest growing economies. It has transformed itself from a low-income, agriculture-oriented economy, to a modern, trade-oriented one that is on the cusp of reaching high-income status within the next few years. To most economists, especially those looking from the outside, Malaysia appears to be doing very well. Growth is strong, at 5.9% last year and projected at 5.4% this year. Inflation is low, at just 1.8% in May 2018, and incomes are high, approaching the magic US$12,055 threshold that marks an exit from the middle-income status that so many see as a trap.

Membuka Jalan untuk Ekonomi Digital yang Berkembang di Indonesia

Petra Wiyakti Bodrogini's picture
Also available in: English



Di seluruh sektor ekonomi digital di Indonesia, baik perusahaan teknologi raksasa maupun yang lebih kecil mengeluhkan sulitnya menemukan bakat digital. Obert Hoseanto dari Microsoft Indonesia menjelaskan: “Sulit sekali mendapatkan karyawan. Kami menerima ratusan lamaran untuk program magang kami tetapi kami hanya dapat menerima 5 orang.”

Para lulusan pendidikan ilmu komputer juga merasa kesulitan untuk memenuhi keinginan atasan mereka. “Saya hanya menggunakan 30% dari ilmu yang saya pelajari di bangku kuliah saat saya bekerja dulu. Sisanya adalah learning by doing,” kata Natali Ardianto, dari tiket.com, sebuah perusahaan start up Teknologi, Informasi dan Komunikasi (TIK) yang berkembang pesat.

Dalam upaya membahas kesenjangan keterampilan ini, Kementerian Koordinator Bidang Perekonomian menyelenggarakan sebuah lokakarya yang juga didukung oleh Bank Dunia untuk memperolah masukan dari sektor swasta, pakar pendidikan, dan praktisi global.

Paving the Way for a Thriving Digital Economy in Indonesia

Petra Wiyakti Bodrogini's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia



Across the digital economy in Indonesia, both IT giants and smaller companies have the same complain: digital talents are hard to find. Obert Hoseanto, an Engagement Manager from Microsoft Indonesia, said the company recently contracted only five people for an internship program, out of a pool of hundreds of applicants.

But those applying for jobs are also struggling, with many realizing the difficulties of meeting the needs of their employers. Natali Ardianto is learning the ropes at tiket.com, a thriving start-up, “by doing”, he said. “Only 30% of the curriculum of my education was useful for the company I joined,” he explained.

A recent workshop held by the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs and supported by the World Bank strived to develop a better understanding of this skills gap, by bringing in insights from the private sector, education experts, and global practitioners.

Five lessons in infrastructure pricing from East Asia and Pacific

Melania Lotti's picture
Photo: © Dini Sari Djalal/World Bank

In the infrastructure domain, “price” is a prism with many façades.
 
An infrastructure economist sees price in graphic terms: the coordinates of a point where demand and supply curves intersect.
 
For governments, price relates to budget lines, as part of public spending to develop infrastructure networks.
 
Utility managers view price as a decision: the amount to charge for each unit of service in order to recover the costs of production and (possibly) earn a profit.
 
But for most people, price comes with simple question: how much is the tariff I have to pay for the service, and can I afford it?

The World Bank as hummingbird: Leveraging knowledge for development finance

Otaviano Canuto's picture



My admiration for hummingbirds began in my native Brazil.   The hummingbird’s flight patterns may seem a mystery as they shift from one flower to the next.  But hummingbirds are immensely purposeful, agile, and proficient pollinators – among the most hard-working members of many thriving ecosystems.  And they can be found from Alaska to the southernmost regions of South America.  
 
The Bank’s efforts to transfer knowledge, germinate ideas, and catalyze change sometimes put me in mind of the hard-working hummingbird.  My visit to the World Bank’s Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Malaysia last year is a case in point.  As I learned about the Bank’s partnership with Malaysia and the origins of the Hub, I was struck by the broader relevance for our work with upper middle-income countries, and our efforts to share global lessons and leverage knowledge to maximize financing for development.  The visit sparked three main observations.  

Untuk menggali potensi siswa, tuntut dan dukunglah guru

Michael Crawford's picture
Also available in: English

Di antara 29 negara dan ekonomi kawasan Asia Timur dan Pasifik, kita bisa menemukan beberapa sistem pendidikan paling sukses di dunia. Tujuh dari sepuluh pencetak rata-rata nilai tertinggi pada tes yang dapat dibandingkan secara internasional seperti PISA dan TIMSS berasal dari kawasan tersebut, di mana Jepang, Korea Selatan, Singapura, dan Hong Kong, Tiongkok secara konsisten selalu berada di antara yang terbaik.
 
Namun, yang lebih penting, kita juga menemukan bahwa kinerja yang hebat tidak terbatas pada sistem sekolah di negara-negara berpenghasilan tinggi kawasan ini. Sistem sekolah di negara berpenghasilan menengah seperti Vietnam dan Tiongkok (khususnya provinsi di Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, dan Guangdong), meskipun memiliki PDB per kapita yang jauh lebih rendah, memiliki nilai lebih baik daripada rata-rata negara OECD. Terlebih lagi, nilai dari Tiongkok dan Vietnam menunjukkan bahwa kinerja siswa miskin tidak tertinggal. Siswa dari kuintil berpenghasilan terendah kedua memiliki skor lebih baik daripada rata-rata siswa OECD, bahkan peserta tes paling miskin pun mengungguli siswa dari beberapa negara makmur. Namun demikian, seperti ditunjukkan grafik di bawah, negara-negara lain di kawasan ini belum mencapai hasil yang sama.

To unlock student potential in East Asia Pacific, be demanding and supportive of teachers

Michael Crawford's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia

Among the 29 countries and economies of the East Asia and Pacific region, one finds some of the world’s most successful education systems. Seven out of the top 10 highest average scorers on internationally comparable tests such as PISA and TIMSS are from the region, with Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong (China) consistently among the best. 

But, more significantly, one also finds that great performance is not limited to school systems in the region’s high-income countries. School systems in middle-income Vietnam and China (specifically the provinces of Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Guangdong) score better than the average OECD country, despite having much lower GDP per capita. What is more, scores from both China and Vietnam show that poor students are not being left behind. Students from the second-lowest income quintile score better than the average OECD student, and even the very poorest test takers outscore students from some wealthy countries. As the graph below shows, however, other countries in the region have yet to achieve similar results.

Sustainable Development Goals and the role of Islamic finance

Abayomi Alawode's picture
 bigstock/joyfull
Malaysia is home to a vibrant Islamic banking sector. Islamic finance has grown rapidly in the past two decades and it now stands as a potential contributor in supporting the Sustainable Development Goals. Photo: bigstock/joyful

Islamic finance has the potential to play a crucial role in supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the face of significant financing needs for the SDGs, Islamic finance has untapped potential as a substantial and non-traditional source of financing for the SDGs.

The growth of Islamic finance has been rapid at 10-12% annually over the past two decades. By 2015, the industry had surpassed US$1.88 trillion in size. Islamic finance has emerged as an effective tool for financing development worldwide, including in non-Muslim countries, and may prove to be an important contributor towards realizing the SDGs. 

The Third Annual Symposium on Islamic Finance was held in Kuala Lumpur in November 2017, co-organized by the World Bank Group, Islamic Development Bank, International Center for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) and Guidance Financial Group to explore the potential contributions that Islamic Finance can make to achieving the SDGs.

The New ASEAN Green Bonds Standards

Ashraf Arshad's picture
The ASEAN Green Bonds Standards are a big step forward towards more green investments in the region. Photo: bigstock/jamesteoh


Climate change poses a significant threat to the economic development of countries around the world. The World Bank estimates that up to a 100 million poor people could be pushed back into poverty by 2030 as a result of climate changein part due to a combination of higher agricultural prices and threats to food security and health – especially in the poorer parts of the world. The Paris Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have provided commitments to tackle the most urgent of these environmental challenges.

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