Thursday 01 Jun 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 4): A detailed study to ascertain the way forward in Malaysia’s democracy is being conducted by a research team led by Datuk Dr Anis Yusal Yusoff. 

Anis, the former deputy director-general of the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption, said the team is examining the fundamentals of the governance structures of the country’s democracy today, its relevance in the new order and alternative models to consider. 

Now a principal fellow at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), Anis said in a statement today that two questions put to him had prompted him to start the study entitled Making A Better Malaysia (MABM). 

The questions are: 

1. Based on events of the last three years since GE14, is Malaysia a nation in crisis or are parts of the system in crisis needing reform? If so, which parts? and
2. Is democracy itself in crisis and is the Malaysian model still suitable? 
Anis is partnering with Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, the former banker who has just completed a stint as a visiting fellow at the Blavatnik School Government in Oxford University where he focused on nationhood recalibration, episodes of systemic failures and overhaul such as Indonesia post Asian Financial Crisis, Malaysia post May 13th and South Africa post-Apartheid. 

“I have argued for some time that our system, substantially designed in 1970, is no longer fit for purpose, impacting social cohesion and economic well-being,” said Nazir in the statement. 

“Political events over the past three years have only reaffirmed this conviction. I am supporting Anis’s efforts to hear what others think and whether we should set up a deliberative platform like a National Consultative Council to reset the system, as we did back in 1970,” he said. 

The six-month study, which commenced in early September, has seen three roundtable discussions attended by a diverse group of people made up of politicians, legislators, academicians, members of the private sector, regulators, civil society and members of the media across all age groups, gender and demographic, the statement said. 

The MABM team is now on its second phase of engagement where it intends to interview legislators and public officials to understand their insights and wisdom on the research questions. They are also inviting and encouraging the public to submit all thoughts and proposals on the focus areas by emailing to: [email protected] 

“We are looking at the questions holistically and not in piecemeals, including areas that may have bearing on the credibility of democracy itself. This will not just be another poll or study. Our measure of success lies in how the recommendations support the people of Malaysia and strengthen pillars of our democracy, and become implementable,” Anis said. 

For more information about the research initiative, please go to:

Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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