Dialogue with the Better Malaysia Project team

A two hour discussion with the Better Malaysia Project initiated by Dato Sri Nazir Razak and his team led by Datuk Dr Anis of UKM. Alhamdullilah, I believe we covered much ground and an open and InsyaAllah constructive discussion. I think both ambitious and idealistic and also realistic and pragmatic.

Of course, there are no lack of ideas and visions, and indeed lots of views… My own submission is that Justice (in its many manifestations) and, quality of both leadership and the led (ie Rakyat Marhaen) are the super key variables. Shared what I know about the development process and rise and fall of nations and civilizations from a development economics, history and Islamic economics standpoint, from a presentation I delivered 3 weeks ago to Ikram on the subject of Negara Makmur dan Sejahtera. In particular shared the insights from Ibn Khaldun’s Circle of Equity framework of historical analysis of rise and fall: while conceptualised some 700 years ago, I think its timeless even more relevant in these discordant times, not just in Malaysia, but indeed the world over.

Also shared, some work and contributions we had done at Khazanah and related entities on nation-building – from the knowledge series in 2007/8 as the nation turned a proud 50 (was more important to focus on next 50 hence a book compiling lots of views on Malaysia 2057), to the work on GTP/ETP under NEM, and the creation of multiple programs and institutions such as Khazanah Research Institute as building blocks on this process.

May DS Jay, Dr Anis, Arinah and team be rightly guided on this important and noble undertaking InsyaAllah. Cheer up Jay! (not smiling in this photo!, but InsyaAllah we all know he is indeed constructive and we must all strive with optimism and good effort InsyaAllah). Thank you for taking in my inputs. 🙏🏼⚖️🇲🇾 #bettermalaysia


9 January 2021