In the lead up to the historic 14th Malaysian General Election, the Pakatan Harapan’s (PH’s) manifesto proposed a series of reforms for the Malaysian economy. Examples include scrapping the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and replacing it with the Sales and Services Tax (SST), making the relationship between the federal government and poorer states (East Malaysia, Kelantan, Terengganu) more equitable, reducing national debt, increasing the minimum wage, and boosting productivity. This seminar aims to assess and evaluate PH’s reform agenda. Through an appraisal of PH’s policy reforms and proposals, numerous themes shall be discussed. These include the political logic underpinning PH’s economic policies, the relationship between state and federal governments, the feasibility of the government’s proposals, the need for institutional reform, and the intended and unintended consequences these policies may have. As such, the seminar shall provide a summary of the economic shifts that observers, analysts, and policymakers can expect to occur under the PH government.
About the Speaker
Manu Bhaskaran is Director of Centennial Group International and the Founding Director and Chief Executive Officer of Centennial Asia Advisors. Mr Bhaskaran has more than 30 years of expertise in economic and political risk assessment and forecasting in Asia. Before joining the Centennial Group, he was Chief Economist for Asia of a leading international investment bank and managed its Singapore-based economic advisory group. Mr Bhaskaran is a well-regarded commentator on Asian financial and economic affairs, and has regular columns in business weeklies such as the Edge in Singapore/Malaysia. He serves as Member of the Regional Advisory Board for Asia of the International Monetary Fund; Senior Adjunct Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies; Council Member of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs; and Vice-President of the Economics Society of Singapore. Mr Bhaskaran has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Cambridge University. He has also qualified as a Chartered Financial Analyst. He is based in Singapore.