Gender inequality

  1. About half of working-age Malaysian women are unemployed or not seeking employment.
    - The female labour force participation rate is well below Malaysia’s overall labour force participation rate, despite the fact that the gap with that of men has decreased over time.
    - It is estimated that the GDP stands to grow by almost 3% if the female labour force participation rate can be raised to over 70%.
    - Although women are increasingly educated and empowered, their contributions to the economy have persistently been impeded by various factors.

  2. Women consistently earn less than men at every level of the job spectrum.
    - Male-female wage disparity is greatest at top-end jobs i.e. senior officers and managers.
    - Even for occupations where women dominate, e.g. services and clerical work, men still earn a higher wage for doing similar work.
    - The situation is even less rewarding for women in the informal economy, where labour laws are rarely observed.

Affirmative action

  1. Affirmative action continues to be complex and must be implemented reasonably.
    - It is important to ensure a right balance between the special position of the Bumiputera and the legitimate interests of other communities.

Policy reform

  1. Malaysia’s growth and development is a story of two halves – initial positive impact (1970 – 1990), followed by arising challenges (1991 – today).
    - Malaysia needs second generation policies that prioritise inclusive growth and social cohesion.

  2. Traditional one-size-fits-all, top-down strategies need to increasingly give way to bottom-up, decentralised growth.
    - This strategy has never been fully tested in Malaysia.

> Get the whole picture

Nicol David
MHDR 2013

Bloomberg TV
MHDR 2013

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It is essential that Malaysia continues to prioritise inclusive growth and social cohesion, and moves forward with the second generation policies that are needed to support this.
-Frances Stewart