President Annual Report 2018

An Overview of Activities for the Year 2017

It is my pleasure to present to the Annual General Meeting, the Persatuan Ekonomi Malaysia (PEM’s) Annual Report for the year ended 31 December, 2017.

PEM’s first activity for the year was the MEA Forum – Economic Governance- Public Sector held on 13 th February 2017 at Sasana Kijang, Bank Negara Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. It was about the evolution of governance in the Malaysian civil service and its key institutions, with an analysis of the impact of governance on economic growth and the consequences of governance failures on public sector delivery. The Forum drew attention to various models of successful public-sector governance in both the developed and emerging economies.

As in previous years, the second event held on 24 March 2017 was the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor’s Address, at the Securities Commission, Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, after the release of the 2016 BNM Annual Report. The keynote address was given by the Deputy Governor Datuk Shaik Abdul Rasheed Abdul Ghaffour of Bank Negara. The speech focused on key economic areas of the Malaysian economy. Our invited panelists were Dr. Donald P Hanna, Managing Director of Research of Guard Capital Management, Hongkong, Dr. Mohd Afzanizam Chief Economist, Bank Islam Malaysia, and Mr. Lim Chee Seng, Chief Economist of RHB Research Institute. The event was attended by more than 200 participants from among leading bankers, government officials, academicians, members of PEM, NGO personnel, corporate leaders, and representatives of foreign missions in Kuala Lumpur. Subsequent to the Bank Negara Malaysia Governor’s Address in March, PEM’s had its 54 th Annual General meeting on the 30 th March 2017 at Yayasan MEA meeting room , University of Malaya.

The third special event was the collaboration between JCI - MEA Economic Seminar Series.

REVISITING THE NEW ECONOMIC MODEL (NEM) – LAGS AND PROSPECTS Launched in 2010, the NEM laid out an ambitious reform agenda for the Malaysian economy to break free from the middle income trap. The National Economic Advisory Council’s clear and forthright diagnosis led to wide-ranging proposals over the course of this decade. A 2020 target for high-income status and an abounding number of blueprints set things in motion. Come mid-2017 and viewed through the lens of the NEM – what is the overall state of the Malaysian economy? Headway and achievements have rightly been lauded. Applying the same constructive rigour, the question is where has progress stagnated, fallen behind or gone off track? Relative to well performing Asian economies, how can Malaysia’s catching-up process be accelerated? For more effective root and branch reforms, where should the will and wherewithal of key actors be directed to? Are new crossroads emerging as the Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) rubric gets underway?
The Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia at Sunway University (JCI) and the Persatuan Ekonomi Malaysia (PEM) co-organized four seminars to shed more light on these and other questions. Thought leaders discussed and shared their reflections and insights on Malaysia’s economic journey since 2010 and its policy imperatives going forward, including the agenda for dynamic and sustainable development. The reform experiences of other countries added insightful perspectives to the discourse.

All together there were four series from the month of August – October 2017.

The 1 st of the series was held on 1 st August 2017 at Sunway University, Subang Jaya, Selangor.


This first session took stock of the progress of the Malaysian economy since 2010, discussed the successes and lags, contemporary challenges and policy priorities going forward. The panel speakers were Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Lin SeeYan, Research Professor, Sunway University, Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin, Chairman, PNB Research Institute, Professor Dr Rajah Rasiah, Professor of Technology and Innovation Policy, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, Dato’ Latifah Merican Cheong Deputy President, Malaysian Economic Association.

2 nd series was held on 25 th August 2017 at Sasana Kijang Bank Negara Malaysia , Kuala Lumpur and 26 th August 2017 at Menara UAB, Penang .


The panel provided an account of how reforms were implemented in other countries in areas such as fiscal management, public sector transformation, and monetary and financial reforms, while drawing parallels with the current and prospective state of the Malaysian economy.

The panelists were Professor Lu Ming, Director, Center for China Development Studies, Department of Economics of Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Dr Chalongphob Sussangkarn, Former Minister of Finance, Thailand; Distinguished Fellow, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), Dr Muhamad Chatib Basri Former Minister of Finance, Indonesia, Professor Woo Wing Thye, President, Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia.

3 rd series was held on 7 th September 2017 at Sasana Kijang, Bank Negara Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur and on 9 th September 2017 at Menara UAB, Penang.


The session delved into critical policy issues to lift up and sustain Malaysia’s growth trajectory. Productivity, labour policy, education, technological innovation, regional integration, and other policies issues were discussed.

The panelists were Professor Edmund Terence Gomez, Professor of Political Economy, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, Professor Dato’ Dr Tan Tat Wai, Research Professor, Sunway University, Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid, Managing Director, DM Analytics, Malaysia.

Last and the 4 th series was held on 31 st October 2017 at Sunway University , Subang Jaya, Selangor.


This final session addressed the vital and urgent imperatives of sustainable development and growth for Malaysia, including economic and resource governance, institutional design, income distribution, and the financing for sustainable development.

The panelists were Tan Sri Datuk Dr Kamal Mat Salih ,Adjunct Professor of Economics and Development Studies, University of Malaya, Dato’ Latifah Merican Cheong, Deputy President, Malaysian Economic Association, Professor Woo Wing Thye President, Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia.

The 4 th core event was the 2018 Post Budget Dialogue: “Shaping the Future” at Securities Commission, Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. The Post-Budget Dialogue was held in conjunction with the 2018 Budget, presented on 27 th October 2017 . The Post-Budget Dialogue provided a platform for the Secretary General of the Treasury, Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and his team to highlight the key issues in the budget. The presentation was followed by a discussion by a panel of notable experts giving their respective views. The dialogue was intended to provide further clarification on the measures announced in the budget. The event was a success as it attracted a large number of participants from various sectors.

The 5th event for 2017 was the most memorable one. We successfully hosted the 42nd Conference of the Federation of ASEAN Economic Associations (FAEA), from 5 th - 8 th December 2017, at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa , Subang Jaya, Selangor. We are grateful for the support from Yayasan Sime-Darby Foundation, as our Conference Partner. Yayasan Sime-Darby Foundation had sponsored 50 students from public universities throughout Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak . The World Bank

sponsored all the ASEAN paper presenters. The Sunway Group donated RM30,000.00 and we received donation from PLUS of RM10,000.00. Others sponsored souvenir items. The event was attended by 120 participants and 32 paper presenters from ASEAN countries. The World Bank team organized well final day event with various interesting topics.

Last but not least, since 2016 PEM has started compiling a total of 5 volumes of Royal Professor Ungku A. Aziz book entitled : “Writing for the Nation”. The editorial work was mainly done by Madam Khoo Siew Mun . The book presentation session was held on 15 th December 2017. The presentation was by Tan Sri Dr. Sulaiman Mahbob, at Astana Damansara, Petaling Jaya and was attended by the following :

Tan Sri Dr. Sulaiman Mahbob
President MEA
Tan Sri Dato’ Mohd. Sheriff Mohd Kassim
Immediate Past President, MEA
Prof. Dr. Noor Azina Ismail
Dean, Faculty Of Economics & Administration, and Vice President, MEA Dr. Shamsulbahriah Ku Ahmad Director, Centre For Poverty And Development Studies, FEA, UM
Dr. Nor Edzan Bt. Che Nasir
Immediate Former Chief Librarian, Universiti Malaya
Encik Mahbob Yusof
Chief Librarian, Universiti Malaya
Mr. Adam Wong Abdullah
Director, University Of Malaya Press Prof. Datuk Dr. Norma Mansor Vice President, MEA
Mrs. Khoo Siew Mun
Coordinator, Ungku A. Aziz Project
Dato’ Dr. R. Thillainathan
[By Special Invitation.]

The Exco wishes to thank PEM members and friends for their continuing support and assistance.

Acknowledgements :

The Association wishes to express its gratitude and appreciation to the following :
  • The Dean, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, for co-organizing the activities of the Association.
  • The staff of the Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya for their cooperation and support.
  • All representatives of the press and media for providing publicity on the activities of the Association.
  • MJES Editorial Board and sub-committee members.
  • Bank Negara Malaysia.
  • Securities Commission Malaysia.
  • Ministry of Finance.
  • Yayasan Sime-Darby Foundation.
  • Jeffrey Cheah Institute.
  • World Bank Malaysia.
  • PLUS Malaysia Berhad
  • Centre for Poverty and Development Studies (CPDS)
  • Panelists and Speakers participating PEM’s event.
  • Donors and Sponsors.
  • Organisations and Individuals supporting PEM’s events.

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