List of Activities

The list of activities organized by CPDS from 2007 – 2017 are as follows:

CPDS National Stakeholder Roundtable 2017 on “Beyond Poverty: Becoming a Developed Nation” – 9th March 2017


CPDS National Stakeholder Roundtable  2017 with the theme “BEYOND POVERTY: BECOMING A DEVELOPED NATION” aim to address 2 cross-cutting topics that falls withing the main Research Pillars  of CPDS namely:

(1) Poverty; To understand the multi-dimensional aspects of poverty eradication in order to expand poverty analysis to include the broader development challenges and to derive appropriate policy measures at different stages of development.

(2) Poverty & Sustainable Development; To understand and search for compatible frameworks between development targets such as growth, poverty eradication, the provision of basic needs, employment creation, equity and distribution, while sustaining the environment for future generations and to design appropriate policy measures for social transformation and managing sustainability.

(3) Inequality, Distribution & Social Mobility; To understand the dynamics of social and economic development with the aim of promoting inclusiveness, equality of access to resources and to reduce vulnerability of citizens, especially those at the lower strata of society at every level of policy making.

(4) Labour & Human Capital; To understand and address labour market constraints that creates segmentation by class, income, ethnicity and gender and to understand the dynamics behind the upward social mobility of vulnerable groups by exploring existing tools and framework for the purpose of informing policy making.

(5) Gender, Development & Group Vulnerability; To understand Group Vulnerabilities as defined by gender, ethnicity, children, youth and the aging population for the purpose of mainstreaming vulnerabilities in policy making.

(6) Human Security; To understand human security as a distinct dimension of development that has become a global challenge for policy making and to contribute towards developing appropriate policy instruments for intervention both locally and internationally. This would include issues such as food security, safety from crime and prosecution, freedom from lack and want, protection from the vagaries of war, failed states and issues relating to internally displaced people and migration.

(7) Development & Social Policy; To understand the vulnerability of citizens in the face of crisis, natural or man- made and their rights to welfare and social protection and to contribute towards designing policy instruments.

(8) Political Economy; To understand the inter-relationships between the political, economic and social dimensions of development by comparing old and new modalities to analyze current realities from an academic and policy perspectives.



The objectives of CPDS National Stakeholder Roundtable reflects the purpose and commitments of all our core programs towards an inter-disciplinary and multi-dimensional approach to poverty and development studies. CPDS aim to engage experts, stakeholders and the public through our core events listed below:

  • The Royal Professor Ungku Aziz Lecture Series
  • CPDS Development Forum
  • National Stakeholder Roundtable
  • CPDS Brown Bag Seminar Series
  • Public Outreach Programs

The goals of these core activities are to further develop and strengthen CPDS as a reference point for poverty and development studies, to encourage scholars and experts to share their work and ideas on poverty and development issues that are relevant at the national, regional and global levels, as well as to strengthen the links between government bodies, commercial interests, and the wider community through knowledge transfer, networking, and pragmatic dissemination of information.

More specifically, the aim of CPDS National Stakeholder Roundtable is to engage experts, development practitioners, policy makers, NGOs and observers to re-examine the complex issue of poverty and learn from past experiences to inform future efforts to eradicate poverty hence, ensuring the achievements of  broader development goals of a nation. Our intended output  below is to fulfill the obove objectives and to chart new directions for CPDS in light of current developments and new knowledge  in the field:

Identify Follow-Up Themes

Identify Plan of Action and Timeline

Identify Research Areas/Gaps

Identify Policy Inputs to Governments

Identify Collaborative Work with Partner Institutions



In 1991, Malaysia established a national goal of becoming a fully developed nation by 2020 economically, politically, socially, spiritually, psychologically and culturally (6 MP, 1991-1995). The roadmap to achieve this ambition is embodied in different policy instruments, and in the recently launched 11th Malaysian plan (11MP, 2016-2020), with the theme of “growth anchored in people” for a socially inclusive society. The Malaysian Government has achieved significant success in fighting poverty and in achieving remarkable economic growth in line with their policy target. Although Malaysia was affected by the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998 as well as the Global financial crisis in 2009, it continued to post solid growth rates, averaging 5.5 percent per year from 2000-2008, recovering rapidly, with growth rates averaging 5.7 percent since 2010. In 2010, Malaysia launched the New Economic Model (NEM), which aims for the country to achieve high income status by 2020 while ensuring that growth is also sustainable and inclusive. The NEM includes a number of reforms to achieve economic growth that is primarily driven by the private sector and to move the Malaysian economy into higher value-added activities in both industry and services. Economic growth in Malaysia was interpreted as inclusive by the World Bank. It reports that Malaysia “succeeded in nearly eradicating poverty”. The share of households living below the national poverty line (US$8.50 per day in 2012) fell from over 50% in the 1960s to less than one percent currently. A survey conducted last year by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) on a sample size of 81,634 households showed that only one percent of households were living under the Poverty Line Index (PLI) in 2014.

Nonetheless, the  debate on poverty and development continues nationally, regionally and globally. As 2017 marked the end of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017), it is timely that the topic of poverty and development is discussed at this CPDS national stakeholder roundtable.


Hence, Theme 1 Progress in Poverty Eradication: Policy Approach and Data aim to  take stock of issues on poverty and development in relation to public policies and data on poverty focussing on:

Global Poverty Eradication Success

Poverty Eradication in Malaysia

Making Inequality Visible: Inclusiveness, Social Integration and Economic Opportunities for All

Malaysia’s Public Policy Journey: From Poverty to a  Developed Nation


Theme 2 on Human Security: Agenda for  a Developed Nation aim to contextualise poverty within the bigger development agenda especially the relationship between inequality and development, the role of politics and political stability in development and ultimately human security as the broader development component. In this way we hope to do  justice to the interdisciplinary nature of the development discipline.

“Human Security,” is most often associated with the 1994 Human Development Report on Human Security (Alkire, 2003). It is concern with ensuing growth and development for the security of human life and their dignity and not just security of the nation state or territory.  Freedom from fear and freedom from want or hunger and poverty are key components underlying this concept which also signify freedom from vulnerability.  This includes vulnerability to oppression and physical violence, vulnerability to poverty and destitution, vulnerability to downside risks, disasters and economic destitution among others (Sakiko Fukuda-Parr and Carol Messineo, 2012).

Given Malaysia’s aspiration to become a developed nation, theme 2 is crucial as it  linked poverty to political economy issues such as  conflict and Failed States (war, terrorrism, violence), climate change and natural disaster, migration and internally displaced people (IDPs), refuggee crisis, human trafficking, youth and children, gender and violence among others. For this roundable the focus is on issues closer to home such as:

Human Security and Freedom: Democracy and Participation in Socio-economic Development

Freedom from Want and Hunger: Poverty and Redistribution Mechanism Downwards to the B40

Human Insecurity and The Poor: Climate Change and Natural Disasters

Political Economy of a Developed Nation: The Landscape for Malaysia


Seminar on “Is Poverty Reduction Part of The Gross City Internal Product (GCIP)?” by Dr. Mario Arturo Ruiz Estrada – 19th January 2017


This paper aim introduce an alternative indicator to evaluate the socio-economic performance of any city. This new indicator is termed the “Gross City Internal Product (GCIP)”. The GCIP will show the real socio-economic situation of a city based on the uses of a new set of variables such as: (i) education demand and supply; (ii) production of goods and services (Supply); (iii) goods and services demand; (iv) social protection coverage; (v) poverty levels; (vi) income per capita distribution; (vii) public transportation supply; (viii) final total net sells yearly; (ix) real states prices and transactions annually; (x) savings ratio; (xi) labor market demand and supply; (xii) population growth; (xiii) immigrants gross rate; (xiv) formal and informal sector income generation; (xv) local government spending (investment and maintenance); (xvi) unemployment ratio; (xvii) physical infrastructure value, (xviii) tax value, (xix) local forces security budget; (xx) demand and supply of public goods and services; and other important variables. We believe that by evaluating large cities in the same country we can have a better understanding of the socio-economic development variables are performing and its evolution in the short and long run. We believe that the GCIP could be an important guide for targeted public policy measures to address the social aspects of economic development, especially in relation to the rise of poverty in urban areas while ensuring the optimal use and sustainability of resources.porting countries as well as labour-receiving countries. Sizeable populations of undocumented migrants also present distinctive public health challenges. As an example, the SARS pandemic erupted, and subsided, over an eight-month period in 2002-03 in the absence of therapeutics, clinically-useful diagnostics, and vaccines. One of the key control measures – quarantine and meticulous contact tracing – would be difficult to implement when large populations of undocumented migrants have a strong incentive to avoid contact with government agencies. In this seminar, we will also discuss taxation and social entitlement regimes which exist (or could be designed) for migrant workers and their dependants in Asean host countries (notably, affordable healthcare and education).


Background of CPDS

Information about the seminar

Newspaper Clipping

Seminar on “Migrants, Rights, and Health Security in Southeast Asia” by Dr. Chan Chee Khoon – 17th October 2016


The Right to Health, operationalised as Universal Health Coverage in a national context, often translates into citizen entitlements, which results in migrant workers (documented and undocumented), refugees, and asylum seekers falling through the cracks. This has given rise to urgent labour and human rights concerns for Asean member states which include major labor-exporting countries as well as labour-receiving countries. Sizeable populations of undocumented migrants also present distinctive public health challenges. As an example, the SARS pandemic erupted, and subsided, over an eight-month period in 2002-03 in the absence of therapeutics, clinically-useful diagnostics, and vaccines. One of the key control measures – quarantine and meticulous contact tracing – would be difficult to implement when large populations of undocumented migrants have a strong incentive to avoid contact with government agencies. In this seminar, we will also discuss taxation and social entitlement regimes which exist (or could be designed) for migrant workers and their dependants in Asean host countries (notably, affordable healthcare and education).

Seminar on “Current Realities in Political Economy: Managing Capatalism” by Dr. Elsa Lafaye de Micheaux – 25th July 2016


In the prolific and diverse range of research in Comparative Capitalism Approach conducted over the past 15 years (Ebenau and alii, 2015), Asia been taken into account only recently. And Southeast Asian countries, however, have largely remained at the margin of this recent agenda. Solid methodologies have been developed in New political Economy to tackle the institutional diversity of capitalisms in distinctive socio-economic context than the developed countries upon which the VoC’s literature have been built. Among these approaches considering the diversity of capitalism, the older institutionalist perspective of Régulation Theory (Boyer, 1990; Amable, 2003; Boyer et alii 2012) allows to frame the consistency together with the complexity of the Malaysia’s capitalism, according to its specific institutional hierarchy and complementarities. Introducing the Regulationist framework to depict the consistency and transformation of the Malaysian Capitalism over the last 15 years, my talk proposes also to scrutinize the subaltern position of labor in the institutional hierarchy of the Malaysian Capitalism. Under the recent economic rise of China, the institutional dimension of the international integration has experienced a strong change. And as become important in determining economic performance as well as social and political opportunities for the country. As it has always been the case in the longue durée of Malaysian capitalism, the labor dimension is adjusting to the change.

Forum on ”The Pacific Alliance: Latin America-Malaysia Business Prospects” – 26th May 2016


The Pacific Alliance is an initiative of regional integration comprised by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, officially established on April 28th, 2011 whose main objectives are:

– Build in a participatory and consensual way an area of deep integration to move progressively towards the free movement of goods, services, resources and people.

– Drive further growth, development and competitiveness of the economies of its members, focused on achieving greater well-being, overcoming socioeconomic inequality and promote the social inclusion of its inhabitants.

– Become a platform of political articulation, economic and commercial integration and projection to the world, with emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region.

Today, with 42 observant countries, the Pacific Alliance’s constant growth has been well studied all over the world as a successful integration process that has led to the liberalization of 92% of goods, among the four country members, on May 1st, 2016. The recent changes in the global order leave a fortunate frame for Malaysia to discover new mechanisms of integration and business incentives that the other end of the Pacific offers. Mechanisms like the Pacific Alliance will improve investment flows and research involving ASEAN, and will also bring new opportunities to the SME environment.

Seminar on “Malaysian Classroom Educational Practices: A Bird’s Eye View” – 9th March 2016


Malaysia’s public education system has seen a significant decline in learning outcomes in the last decade or so, despite large amounts of spending as well as waves of reforms. We know from forty years of educational research that teacher’s practice is the most significant school-based factor in predicting the effectiveness of education. Yet, in Malaysia, we know very little about what really goes on in the classroom, particularly against important educational practice indicators. This is one of the key gaps that this project is attempting to address. Random sampling was done from 2000 public secondary schools. The final sample consists of 24 schools and involved 153 teachers teaching Form 1 core subjects (Mathematics, Science, Malay and English). In all, 153 questionnaires were collected as well as more than 20,000 minutes of video data from more than 400 lessons. We will discuss a key outcome of the study: A bird’s eye view of the educational practices carried out in Malaysia’s classrooms.

Seminar on “The Strategy of the International University Network on Cultural and Biological Diversity (IUNCBD)” by Prof. Pierluigi Bozzi – 7th March 2016


The innovative mission of the IUNCBD Network established in accordance with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has been developed in response to the deep concerns expressed on the gap of coordination and knowledge between high education and the International Conventions/Organizations that operate at multi-level in the field of cultural and biological diversity. IUNCBD aims at:

– establishing innovative linkages between academia and the multi-scale international policy in both directions to:

– integrate policy agendas and programmes of work into the academic system of studies

– enable universities to play a role in informing policy and linking the policy agendas and programmes of work to the local context to which they belong

– bridging the gap between academic and policy/management perspectives, between education and capacity building, between universities and the local contexts to which they belong

– developing the integration between communication, education, research, capacity building, public awareness and the policy implementation processes (‘CEPAplus’ in the IUNCBD strategy)

 – allowing universities to play a dynamic role as local social drivers opened to society, local/indigenous communities, experts, policy makers

– designing and institutionalizing beyond the logics of short term projects innovative integrated teaching/research/outreach curricula, taking into account:

 * the local context and the evolution of the multi-scale policy implementation.

* the visions and involvement of local communities and indigenous peoples, their own learning processes, capacity building needs and traditional knowledge systems.

Among other policy agendas, the historical establishment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES) is the high response to the need of a pivotal institutional innovation in the global interface between science and policy. The IUNCBD Biodiversity 2020 Action Plan: Linking Education Science Policy and Society has drawn up an advanced synthesis designing, among other initiatives, an international pilot proposal in order to implement the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy of the IPBES Work Programme and add value to the curriculum of the IUNCBD universities members: the pioneering establishment – at country level – of a National or Local IPBES Stakeholders IUNCBD Forum led by a visionary university – in case Malaysian University/Department – as operative platform and support tool at the interface between science policy and society.

Multidisciplinarity is a fundamental dimension recognized by the IPBES constituent document as well as a core element of the IUNCBD mission and strategy.

Dialogue on The Eleventh Malaysia Plan 2015-2020 and Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 “The Enterprising Nation: Education for Development” – 28th January 2016


The government recently released two important documents: the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015 – 2025 (Higher Education) and the 11th Malaysian Plan, 2016-2020. This forum proposes to review these two documents collectively, given the close link between quality of education and equitable forms of economic development. Two core issues have to be addressed by tertiary institutions in the public and private sectors when reviewing these public documents. First, how to create an appropriate educational experience that would equip students with skills necessary to cope with a constantly – and rapidly – changing economy. Second, how to create an environment under which the research expertise of the academic fraternity may be harnessed more directly to identify and provide programme and policy or scientific and technological solutions that would help to meet the country’s development objectives.

At this forum, the following issues will be reviewed:

– Towards an Enriching Educational Experience

* What curriculum reforms are necessary to nurture human capital with the ability to think in a creative and critical manner that can enhance innovation?* How can inter-disciplinary tutelage and research be promoted to cultivate innovation that draws on Malaysia’s indigenous knowledge, a method also to develop niche- and rural-based industries?

* To achieve this mode of tutelage, what balance of vocational training and liberal arts-based education should be introduced?

* How can we create a freer, more vibrant campus environment that would help nurture individual enterprise, competition and responsible citizenship that the Blueprint envisages?

* Are the policy proposals in the 11MP adequate to help Malaysia escape the high middle income trap that it is now in? Due to increased global competition, there is a lot of premium on research and development (R&D) and postgraduate studies. Do the strategies of the 11MP to attain a developed economy provide enough incentives or allocate enough resources to universities to encourage students to do postgraduate studies, and subsequently work in universities (to create the much-needed talent for universities and colleges, we need incentive schemes to encourage the best minds, both local and international students, to not only take up postgraduate studies, but to also recruit them)

* How can productivity – industrial, technological and agricultural – be further boosted to raise incomes and improve life chances?

– Research for Development

* The role of R&D in ensuring a successful transition to developed status, must be factored into the 11MP.

* What are the specific R&D needs of the country’s key or emerging sectors of the economy? How can the research expertise of universities be mobilized to contribute to these needs?

* What kind of academic-based research is required to aid the development of entrepreneurial domestic industries?

* Will the initiatives and strategies in the 11MP generate high investments in R&D as well as attract domestic and foreign investments?


This forum aims to initiate a dialogue between government, industry and academia of methods to improve socioeconomic development through joint public and private sector initiatives. This day-long forum, comprising bureaucrats, academics from public and private universities and members from key sectors in the private sector, aims specifically to determine:

– The kind of university-industry research that can be jointly done to drive the economy;

– Mechanisms that shape requisite policies to facilitate joint university-industry research that will also be fed into a curriculum that can equip students with relevant training; and

– Secure full or part private sector sponsorship for the kind of relevant research that industries think should be done.

This forum, a joint endeavor by the University Malaya and HELP University will be convened Thursday, 28th January 2016.