Anwar’s efforts offer vital lessons to the West, says expert

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s efforts at inclusive growth offer important lessons to the West and the rest of the Global South, says an internationally recognised business strategist. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, December 6, 2023.

PRIME Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s efforts at inclusive growth offer important lessons to the West and the rest of the Global South, says an internationally recognised business strategist.  

Dr Dan Steinbock observed that Anwar has often talked about his vision for Malaysia, suggesting the country could emerge as “a great economic working model for a pluralistic society, through peace, compassion, and harmony”. 

Steinbock is the founder of the global consultancy Difference Group Ltd, which helps governments, companies, and organisations in both the West and the Global South navigate multipolar world economies. 

His views relate to Anwar’s leadership at home and abroad as his Madani government will be celebrating its first year at the end of this week. 

Anwar was sworn in as Malaysia’s 10th prime minister on November 24, 2022. 

Steinbock said the positive reactions of financial markets to the Madani government reflected the perception that it is seen as a stabilising force. 

“The quest for sustainability and digital transformation indicates a future-driven approach. The focus on the economy, cost of living, and good governance is appropriate. 

“Budget debates suggest structural reforms may face political headwinds. Still, the early signs are promising,” said the global economy expert. 

Steinbock said in the coming quarters, Malaysia’s economic recovery is likely to be gradual. 

This, he said, has less to do with Malaysia than with the impact of weakening global demand and restrictive monetary conditions. 

“Both factors have adverse implications worldwide, particularly in relatively open, trading commodity exporters, including Malaysia.  

“In such conditions, Malaysia’s expected real gross domestic product growth of about 3.9% in 2023 is a decent response in the dire international environment,” he said. 

Bilateral relations between Malaysia and Singapore since the Madani government came into power attracted his attention. 

He said when the international environment was fragmented, it fostered divisive forces domestically. 

“In such times, the Pakatan Harapan-led unity government is important. The Madani government seems to have surpassed the perceived uncertainties associated with the hung parliament. 

Asked to give a score of 1-10 on Anwar’s leadership, Steinbock has this to say: 

“Considering the dire scenarios that hovered over Malaysia only a few years ago, and ones that resurfaced with the hung parliament, Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership may have earned a ‘good’ score. 

“But the toughest tests are still ahead. If Anwar’s leadership can then sustain political unity and economic development, it will inch closer to ‘excellent’.” 

Steinbock has served in the India China and America Institute, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, and the EU Centre. 

The senior Fulbright scholar has lived in Europe, the US, Asia, and the Middle East. He spends most of his time in Asia. – Bernama, December 6, 2023. 

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  • I must be living in a parallel universe to the one described above. I just see the rise of religious conservative power in an effort to sustain a rocky coalition.

    Posted 2 months ago by Malaysia New hope · Reply