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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        29  April 2011

World Bank: Malaysia needs more reforms

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Although Malaysia has taken steps to restructure its economy via the Economic Transformation Programme, more deep-seated reforms as laid out in the New Economic Model (NEM) have slowed as the government seeks a balance between tackling more immediate problems and long-term transformation.

The World Bank, in the fourth edition of the Malaysia Economic Monitor, noted that while the project-based initiatives as represented by the National Key Economic Areas had demonstrated “notable progress,” cross-cutting reforms under the NEM should be accelerated.

A minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop told reporters after the launch yesterday that there was more to be done.

Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop says resources are needed to overcome major challenges He added that the resources were needed to overcome major challenges. “It's all a matter of sequencing,” he said.

The World Bank in the economic report observed that foreign investors remained “skeptical” about the impact of the cross-cutting reform announcements under the NEM.

“Most do not price the NEM measures into their medium-term forecasts, considering them instead as upside risk factors,” the Washington-based international financial institution said.

The World Bank said the skepticism was likely reflected in two issues - the difficulty in implementing cross-cutting reforms and the perception, likely due to a lack of communication, that the government was not doing enough in pushing the NEM reforms.

Statistics revealed in the report included a conservative estimate of a 1 million strong Malaysian diaspora, largely located in Singapore, Australia, Brunei, Britain, the United States and New Zealand.

Of this, nearly 90 were of ethnic Chinese descent while for the diaspora as a whole, one-third had tertiary education with the rate of the qualified migrating having risen in recent years. The report added that Singapore was the destination of 57 percent of those who had left.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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