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Malaysia

The Force of Ideas: Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Malaysia turns three

Merza Hasan's picture

 

Our longstanding partnership with Malaysia: Former President of the World Bank, Robert S. Mcnamara with former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak during a visit to Kuala Lumpur in 1971. (Photo Credits: World Bank Archives)



Nearly 75 years ago in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, a group of nations met to discuss the establishment of a global system of cooperation for supporting the economic recovery of countries affected by the Second World War.  The outcome of these deliberations resulted in the creation of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Monetary Fund; and an immediate post-war focus on financing the reconstruction of war-torn countries, particularly in Europe. The first few loans issued by the IBRD were to France, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Can Islamic social finance be the key to end poverty and hunger?

Ahmad Hafiz Abdul Aziz's picture
As the world works toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, Islamic social finance provides new options to help mobilize these efforts, in particularly to end poverty and hunger. (Photo: bigstock/Distinctive Images)


In 2015, countries around the world adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Formulated on the principle that no one gets left behind, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has defined the world’s priorities and aspirations for 2030.
 
But to mobilize these efforts, we need to effectively uplift groups at the bottom where poverty plays a main obstacle. Although poverty levels have fallen dramatically since 2000, there are still 783 million people living below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day. We may need more creative and effective solutions to end poverty. In the recent 4th Annual Symposium on Islamic Finance in Kuala Lumpur, we discussed how Islamic social finance might just be the key to alleviating poverty and hunger.

How can Malaysia realize the potential of its human capital?

Richard Record's picture
To boost productivity and go the next mile in its development path, Malaysia must improve its human capital through better learning and nutritional outcomes and social protection programs. (Photo: Samuel Goh/World Bank)


Anyone who visits Malaysia will quickly come to realize that Malaysians are blessed with enormous talent, ranging from the myriad of entrepreneurs creating new businesses online to those active in the creative industries including music, culture and sports. But there is also still a widespread sense that Malaysia is not making the most of its human capital, with concerns that despite large investments in education and health, the returns are not as high as they should be, and that a large share of Malaysians are still being left behind.

Women at work in East Asia Pacific: Solid progress but a long road ahead

Victoria Kwakwa's picture



East Asia Pacific’s (EAP) strong economic performance over the past few decades has significantly benefited and empowered women in the region, bringing better health and education and greater access to economic opportunities. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are featuring 12 women in the region who embody the advancements women have made in EAP, despite the many barriers that remain for them at work.

Surpassing all other developing regions, EAP’s female-to-male enrollment ratio for tertiary education is currently 1.2, with the ratio of secondary education access nearly equal for girls and boys. But in the workplace, the share of women working in EAP is at 62% versus 78.9% for men, a gap that has not narrowed over the past four years.

Improving public sector performance through innovation and inter-agency coordination

Bernard Myers's picture
Outside the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya, the federal administrative capital of Malaysia. Malaysia sits at an important juncture in development history and the country’s experience is key in generating insights to improving public sector performance. (Photo: Samuel Goh/World Bank)

Lessons from Malaysia: Linking government spending to performance

Bernard Myers's picture
Outside the Ministry of Finance of Malaysia where the National Budget Office operates. Malaysia’s experience in ensuring government spending contributes to better public services through reforms like performance-based budgeting is a learning point for other countries. (Photo: Phuong D. Nguyen/bigstock)
Across the world, political leaders have sought to show how public spending contributes to concrete results like better public services, which citizens can experience and benefit from. Coupled with a steadily growing number of channels through which citizens can communicate their “voices,” political leaders are facing increasing pressure to do more with less resources.

In this context, how can civil servants and leaders holding office, particularly the ones who prepare budgets, manage this challenge?

Malaysia’s digital future needs faster Internet

Siddhartha Raja's picture
As an early pioneer in the digital economy, Malaysia has many of the building blocks to leapfrog to a new digital future, but the country will need faster Internet to go the next mile. Photo: bigstock/ mast3r
About 20 young women in the eRezeki center in Shah Alam, Malaysia work quietly on their computers as the class proceeds. They are there to learn about how to work online to earn  an income. On banners nearby are vignettes of Malaysians—many from the bottom 40% of the income group, and the primary target group for this program—who have benefited from these opportunities. One businesswoman selling clothes and furniture online since 2013 saw her monthly sales increase ten-fold after learning how to better market her products online.  A retired lecturer learnt about online work opportunities and began performing dispatch services for delivery apps, earning over RM 2,400 (~US$580) a month.

Belanjawan 2019 – Langkah Pengimbangan bagi Kerajaan Malaysia Baharu

Firas Raad's picture
Also available in: English
Belanjawan negara terbaru Malaysia memperlihatkan beberapa langkah yang menggalakkan. Cara kerajaan Malaysia mengimbangkan keutamaannya akan menjadi kunci untuk memastikan populasi berpendapatan rendah dapat berpeluang untuk berkongsi dalam faedah hasil pembangunan negara. Foto: Samuel Goh

Belanjawan negara 2019 yang dinanti-nantikan dan yang baru dibentangkan oleh Menteri Kewangan Malaysia, Yang Berhormat Lim Guan Eng pada Jumaat lepas ditampilkan pada ketika Malaysia sedang menempuhi detik-detik mencabar. Dari aspek luar negara, eksport Malaysia kian berdepan hambatan yang semakin meruncing – berbanding rintangan yang diharungi dalam beberapa tahun belakangan – rentetan ketegangan dagangan yang kian mendesak serta pertumbuhan global yang kian muram. Sementara  dari aspek dalam negara pula, besar kemungkinan, penekanan terbaharu untuk mengekang lambakan hutang Kerajaan serta liabiliti yang sedang ditanggung, bakal menyempitkan ruang fiskal dan menghambat kerancakan aktiviti ekonomi susulan pelaburan awam – tidak seperti dahulu. Dalam situasi sebegini, Malaysia terpaksa lebih bergantung pada penggunaan dan pelaburan swasta bagi menyokong pertumbuhan ekonomi pada tahun-tahun mendatang.

Malaysia budget 2019 – A balancing act for the new government

Firas Raad's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Melayu
Malaysia’s latest budget points to many encouraging directions. How the government balances its priorities is key to ensuring low-income populations get to share in the benefits of development. (Photo: Samuel Goh/World Bank)

The unveiling of Malaysia’s much-anticipated 2019 budget last Friday by the Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng comes at a challenging time for the country. On the external side, Malaysia’s exports are facing growing headwinds – as opposed to the fair winds of recent years – due to heightened trade tensions and slower global growth. On the domestic front, a new emphasis on addressing the stock of government debt and contingent liabilities is likely to narrow fiscal space and prevent public investment from driving economic activity as it did before. In this situation, Malaysia will depend more on private consumption and investment to support economic growth in the next few years.

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