The New Economic Agenda was unveiled with three objectives and seven challenges that all Malaysians will reap the fruits of shared prosperity. This was presented by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammed on May 9, 2019 at the celebrations of Pakatan Harapan Government’s one year anniversary. The theme of ‘Shared Prosperity’ reveals the government charting new directions for Malaysia.
In this context KSI and the Malaysian CSO SDG Alliance is hosting a roundtable on ‘Shared Prosperity’ for Malaysians to better understand the term, its objectives and seven main thrusts.
We want to ensure that it does not end up as mere slogans but can be operationalised and will benefit the most vulnerable sections of our society.
In this context we need to ask some critical questions:-
a) Is this theme of ‘shared prosperity’ the best theme for the next 10 years? Is this operationally possible in a free market, open capitalistic model where the rich is getting richer and the poor poorer? Is there a clear assurance of addressing both structure as well as individual barriers in creating wealth and in distribution?
b) How can we identify new markets and opportunities to grow the economy and welcome more investments? How will this new economic growth impact small and micro businesses including the informal sector?
c) Is the target groups inclusive enough as the focus is in the identification of Malaysians by class, race and geographical location? Why are the disaggregated indicators for gender, age, religion, and disability not included?
d) Are the three objectives and seven thrust, comprehensive enough? Why is the thrust of institutional reform, human rights, sustainable development which is significant in the Mid-Term Review of the 11th MP not featured significantly here in shared prosperity?
e) To what extend is monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment a key dimension of localising the shared prosperity agenda? How could we strengthen this in order to ensure the B40, vulnerable groups at the grassroots will be truly able to benefit for economic and social wellbeing.