Youth Economic Forum 2019

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Youth Economic Forum 2019

About YEF 2019

Ripples : Youth In The Driver's Seat

Undi18, the movement behind the historic constitutional amendment to lower the voting age of 18, has placed youth at the center of the Malaysia's development narrative. They are newly empowered and bring fresh perspectives into the public policy dialogue in the country. This is a battle won in the pursuit of inclusive growth. But the journey continues.

The Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 was announced with the intention of ensuring every rakyat enjoy the economic benefits and prosperity together in a fairer and more equitable manner. The conversation has commenced and the youth are ready to have a seat at the table, contributing towards carving deeper clarity of what this means for our country.

The Youth Economic Forum 2019 (YEF2019) responds to this development, staging the pertinent conversations with the intention of creating ripples through debate and exchanges for our future. Youths and public leaders will convene as nation builders - finding Malaysia's place in the global economic storyline, wrestling with ideas of how the country's prosperity should be designed and distributed and charting a path forward for the country towards an impending return as an Asian Tiger.

As youth comes of age in this country, we want to send the signal that as with all generations of Malaysians, we are ready to extend the boundaries of our imagination, partner closely and groom and hone our skills in preparation of what the Malaysia of our future can be.

Date: November 9th 2019

Venue:  Sasana Kijang, Bank Negara Malaysia

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The Organiser

The Perdana Fellowship is a prestigious programme that was established by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 2013 to provide young Malaysians a first-hand experience in matters of national governance. Perdana Fellows Alumni Association (PFAA) is a multiracial, multicultural, non-partisan, and non-profit organisation. Our mission is to develop the next generation of Malaysian leaders in the government, corporate and nonprofit sector. Since its inception, PFAA has carried out various initiatives that revolve around leadership, governance, and volunteerism. PFAA currently has around 450 members spanning 7 batches of the Perdana Fellows and 1 Batch of Corporate Fellows.

YEF 2019 Agendas


The Game-Changers: Revolutionising Malaysian Industries

Malaysia is ripe to revolutionise its industries. Malaysia must identify industries with potential to capitalise on innovation and technology to boost economic growth. Today, with the global landscape changing more rapidly than ever as increasing take place across the globe, harnessing the advancements of technology will be paramount for Malaysia to secure a strong foothold in the future.

In an era of exploring 5G, AI, FinTech, BigTech and a flourishing data economy, investments into key areas of research and development in fields such as AI learning and robotics are crucial in ensuring that Malaysian firms get ahead of the game. Firms must not only attempt maximise cost-efficiency, but also bolster profitability by leveraging on disruptive technologies such as IoT, artificial intelligence, automation & robotics, biotechnology, and more.

The skillsets required have also go beyond numeracy - expertise in these relevant fields such as data science, robotics, and programming are key in the development of these technologies. Skills such as complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, communications and collaboration, emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility are becoming increasingly high in demand, as these skills are not substitutable by machines.

With these shifting landscapes for Malaysian industries, how can the youth prepare for the challenges ahead? What are the skillsets required? And what is the role of the private sectors to facilitate this?



Mind the Gap: Shifting towards Shared Prosperity

Supporting World Bank’s one of two twin goals introduced in 2013, along with ending extreme poverty, fostering shared prosperity embodies notions of economic growth and equity. Malaysia’s poverty rate has been gradually falling since two decades ago but we still have miles ahead to improve equality between all segments in Malaysia.

There are many gaps that still require bridging and narrowing in Malaysia. The urban and rural divide in Malaysia continues to be a challenging issue to deal with. There are also gaps within communities - be it urban or rural - which are uniquely characterised by geolocation, socio-economic and policy factors.

Malaysia is at a juncture where it needs to reconsider its economic structure. Job creation, business opportunities and productive wages have come under much scrutiny in recent years especially for the Malaysian youths. Issues close to the youths include but are not limited to unpaid internship, low and stagnant wages as well as job opportunities. In order to address these issues, Malaysia must identify industries with potential to boost the economy and address the skill needs it will create. As shown in a recent study by Bank Negara Malaysia, there is a need fro employers to revolutionise how it decides to compensate workers to ensure that they receive pay appropriate to their productivity levels. Malaysia now requires initiatives beyond social policies to improve the share of prosperity.


Crossing the Chasm: Gearing towards High Technology Industrialisation

The world is currently amidst a technological transformation that will fundamentally change the way we live and work. Disruptive change is the price of modernisation. Sooner or later, everyone will need to learn how to adapt. Governments need to set clear key policies, companies need to reprioritise their business structure and the society need to upskill in order to adapt to the wave of change.

In Malaysia, one of the key issues highlighted in Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 is the low adoption rate of high technology. A large segment of industries are still in low value added category. For example, although the manufacturing and services sector contribute almost 79% of GDP, the adoption of high technology in both sectors remains low at 37% and 20% respectively.

With the rate of technology advancement and its convergence, how can companies apply technologies such as big data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing for higher productivity? Given the broad impact of technological change, how can the government strengthen the institutional frameworks to navigate through the change? And how can Malaysians cross the chasm so that Malaysia would have more local key players in industry 4.0?



The Malaysian Dilemma: The Future of Race-Based Policies

The National Economic Policy (NEP) was first introduced in 1970 as a response to socio-economic imbalances and to restore the nation’s political stability. Since NEP’s inception, there has been tremendous growth in Malaysia’s economy and it has improved equity between different races. While NEP has had its successes, the policy has now been rife with shortcomings and abuses.

While there was a need for race-based policies when Malaysia first gained independence, there have been a number of unintended consequences. The welter of grants and soft loans for bumiputera firms have sapped their entrepreneurial vigour. In public universities, race-based entry have lowered Malaysia’s public university standards. As a consequence of this segregation, many of those who left the country for better opportunities never returned. Today, more than ever, Malaysians need a new national narrative that addresses these challenges.


Act-ing on Climate Change

Scientists continue to sound the alarms and call for emergency breaks as carbon emissions, rising sea level and changing climate continue to increase at rates faster than we expected. Never has there been a greater need for governments to double down on their commitments to institutionalise climate change policies across public and private domains. As Malaysia continue to chart the course of its development, we will need to commit to a difficult balancing act - to bolster economic growth while preserving the environment.

How do we play our part within the global green agenda while preserving our own interests and development. Our palm oil production continue to be a clashing point in the discourse of climate change amongst developed nations. Furthermore, in light of developing countries like the Philippines and Malaysia returning illegal plastic waste to developed countries, government accountability globally has come under great scrutiny.

Recently, YB Yeo Bee Yin  announced that Ministry of Energy,  Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) is planning to introduce a Climate Change Act which will be tabled to the parliament within 2 years. This session will act as a focus group for providing input from the youth’s perspective on what Malaysia’s Climate Change Act should focus on.

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We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

Established in 1974, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) is Malaysia’s fully integrated oil and gas multinational ranked among the largest corporations on FORTUNE Global 500.

The growing demand for energy inspires and strengthens our purpose to steadily drive for new solutions and push boundaries towards a sustainable energy future. We apply innovative approaches to technology which helps us unlock and maximise energy sources from even the most remote and difficult environments. Our fully integrated value chain spans from exploration to marketing, logistics to technological infrastructures, with operations in over 50 countries.

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Maxis is the leading converged communications and digital services company in Malaysia, enabling 10 million individuals, families and businesses to do more in an Always On world. As our customers increasingly immerse themselves in an ever expanding universe of connected applications, Maxis is obsessed with providing an unmatched end-to-end internet experience – bringing together advanced always on connectivity and always great tech care. Beyond connecting people with our services, we are passionate about leveraging new technologies to make a positive impact in the community in which Maxis operate.

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