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President Annual Report 2021

An Overview of Activities for the year 2020


It is my pleasure to present to the Annual General Meeting of the Malaysian Economic Association (MEA), the Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2020.

The year 2020 was certainly a tough period. We barely survived the first total lockdown when the government announced a further extension of the lockdown, aimed at lowering the new daily Covid-19 positive cases. Consequently, due to the constraints of the pandemic restrictions we were unable to organise any talks or seminars since March 2020.

However, MEA had successfully held its 57th Annual General Meeting on 29th July 2020 at Econo-Cube, Faculty of Economics & Administration, University of Malaya, when some restrictions on movement were relaxed.

MEA for the first time organised its flagship complimentary 2021 Post-Budget Debate Webinar on 27th November 2020 via the Zoom platform. The event attracted more than 150 participants from various sectors: commercial, industrial, and governmental.

The debate carried 4 broad themes namely: caring for the people, steering the economy, sustainable living, and enhancing public service delivery. The government has introduced several measures to mitigate the deteriorating income effect on households and businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has negatively affected economies throughout the world. There is no end in sight, yet, for this Covid-19 pandemic.

The budget 2020 was the first for the new coalition, Perikatan Nasional, government. Thus it would be interesting to see whether the budget serves as a supplement/complement to recent recovery measures and also the future direction the government’s efforts will take in trying to solve the negative economic consequences of the pandemic.

The debate provided a forum and an opportunity for participants to gain insights into the thought processes and rationale that have gone into the formulation of Budget 2021 by the Ministry of Finance. It also served as a discourse for the business community, academia, civil society, and economists to enlighten participants on the budget and its implications for individuals specifically, and the economy, in general.

In this event the keynote address was delivered by Mr. Johan Mahmood Merican, Director of the National Budget Office, Ministry of Finance. The debate session was moderated by Prof Dr Hooy Chee Wooi , a Vice –President of the Malaysian Economic Association, while the four panellists were Ms Tricia Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, Mr. Suhaimi Ilias, Chief Economist, Maybank Investment Bank , Dr Jorah Ramlan, a Vice -President of the Malaysian Economic Association, and Dr Firas Raad, Country Manager for Malaysia, The World Bank Group.

Finally, before the end of 2020, MEA managed to organise another Webinar on RMK12 “ A Conversation with YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed dated 10th December 2020. As usual, the session started with a keynote address delivered by YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, the Minister from the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy). The session was moderated by Tan Sri Dato’ Mohd. Sheriff Mohd. Kassim , Chairman of Yayasan MEA , while the four panellists were Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Sulaiman Mahbob, Adjunct Professor , International Institute of Public Policy & Management (INPUMA) , Tan Sri Yong Poh Kong , Chairman of Royal Selangor International Sdn. Bhd. and Professor Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Research Advisor of Khazanah Research Institute.

RMK12, unveiling of the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021 – 2025) has been postponed to allow for more inputs from stakeholders, and importantly , to take into consideration the policy adjustments and economic reform needed to rebuild and restructure the economy in the post pandemic period. This event attracted more than 120 participants from various private and public sectors.

On behalf of the Exco, I wish to thank MEA members, business associates, 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 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.
  • Ministry of Finance.
  • Panelists and Speakers who participated in MEA’s events.
  • Donors and Sponsors.
  • Organisations and Individuals supporting PEM’s events.

Emeritus Professor Datuk Norma Mansor
President

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