We Are A Progressive
 Malaysian Think Tank

At INSAP, we believe in collective decision-making and that the government of the day must consider
diverse views from the masses to effectively craft public policies for the country.

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The Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (INSAP), established in 1986, is one of the pioneer think-tanks in Malaysia, focusing on political-economic research. A not-for-profit organisation, INSAP develops long-term strategies and policies which are relevant to the interests and aspirations of Malaysians. Since its early days leading to its corporatisation in 1995, INSAP has produced strategic reports and recommendations for the Malaysian government. 


Economic Impact of COVID-19 : A Malaysian context

Summary of potential economic impacts and corresponding policy interventions This document analyzes the socio-economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and describes key policy measures undertaken by the Malaysian Government. This document also provides guidance on the four priority areas that organizations should focus on to stay resilient during this challenging period.

2021 Projections : Realistic Expectations or Too Optimistic?

The IMF had recently published a 37-page report detailing its forecasted economic outlook in 2021 with Malaysia punching far above its weight at a remarkable 9.0% real GDP growth in 2021 after a 1.7% contraction in 2020. This report will explore the assumptions used in determining those projections, whether they …

Nip Dengue Threat in the Bud to avoid Virus DOUBLE WHAMMY

April 7 - While the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) dominates the headlines across Malaysia, the dangers of dengue should not be overlooked. We’ve got a potential double whammy where the nation could be hit by two dangerous infectious diseases at the same time if the situation continues to be overlooked and …

Covid-19 : Defeating the “Invisible Enemy”

March 30 (KRI) – By the time the World Health Organization (WHO) officially designated Covid-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020, there were 118,000 confirmed cases and 4,291 deaths in 114 countries1. By 29 March, these numbers had risen to 638,146 confirmed cases and caused 30,105 deaths across 202 countries …

COVID-19 Control : Break Down Foreign Workers’ Barrier to Care

March 25 (KRI) — As the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) sweeps across Malaysia, foreign workers, especially the undocumented, are amongst the most vulnerable. They often are forced to live in cramped conditions that lack basic sanitation, making them at high risk for contracting and spreading the coronavirus.

Health of the Nation : Measuring Burden of Disease

April 2 (KRI) - Assessing the health status of a population has conventionally been done by focusing on mortality. However, this does not take into account diseases that do not necessarily kill people but cause suffering to those who live with them i.e. morbidities.

Covid-19: Short-term Response, but not Short-term Thinking

March 26 (KRI) - We like to throw around big numbers, perhaps to calm investors and appease credit rating agencies. But it fails to assuage growing anxieties on the ground, especially workers and households who are inundated with basic concerns of survival and solvency.

An anti-viral economic booster

FEBRUARY 20 — The outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus sent shockwaves around the world as nations hastily assembled together stimulus packages in the wake of this unforeseen event. The Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (INSAP) are greatly concerned about this and are monitoring the situation closely.


June 11, 2020

The gig economy is defined as a labour market characterised by the prevalence of shortterm contracts or freelance work done by individuals, although it is also loosely called freelance work. The popularity of gig jobs has increased in recent years as trends shifted from fixed work or employment to gig work whereby individuals work when needed for that task. Some of the reasons behind the emergence of this trend include; lack of other job opportunities, lack of faith in job security, desire for freedom in terms of flexible hours, and the advancement of technology such as mobile apps which has allowed business transactions to be conducted in a more efficient manner. Due to this it is mostly populated by the younger generation who are more attuned to the digital environment.

June 9, 2020

The issue of oil and gas rights in Sabah is a thorny one, with local Sabahans feeling that their local hydrocarbon resources are being exploited by Petronas without enjoying much economic opportunity or social benefit in return despite being the largest producer of hydrocarbons in the country. Therefore, anyone who wishes to improve Sabah’s economic conditions should be mindful of the negative local sentiments towards Petronas and should seek to maximize concessions from Petronas in the areas of local infrastructure, increasing social mobility and 12 better downstream economic opportunity where commercially viable. Although this may not undo decades of resource exploitation and poverty in the state, it would help to build a more stable economic foundation for future generations to recover.

June 7, 2020

As traditional retail involves the physical opening of a space or business premise (also known as brick and mortar type shops), and the need for visitors to physically enter to make transactions, restricted movements worldwide has caused a lot of disruptions. Now with the wide implementation of social distancing, the shifts in demands among sectors is very obvious, eg from physical to online, from regular purchases to health related products and so on.

June 4, 2020

A pandemic that causes world economies to halt highlights the shortcomings of workers’ rights in Malaysia. Many workers are facing retrenchment, salary cuts, revocations of job offers, and/or unpaid leave. The pandemic also shows the harsh conditions domestic and foreign workers often endure. Furthermore, social protection such as SOCSO, EIS, and EPF are only provided to workers in formal sectors whilst informal workers are at a risk.

June 2, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the economic equilibrium of supply and demand. Businesses and consumers are expected to adapt to a “new normal” following a large-scale economic disruption from the Movement Control Order (MCO). The pandemic has undoubtedly damaged the brick-and-mortar retail business as reported in the news and reports from retail association worldwide. However, the silver lining behind the negativity of the pandemic presents an opportunity for business with minimal human contact and online presence such as grocery deliveries, online learning, takeout food, video streaming and to the extent of closing real estate deals through online notaries.

June 2, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill. Many estimates have been thrown around about the potential impact of Covid-19 pandemic on global and national economies, most views tend to agree that it will be very bad at this stage and tourism is clearly the worst hit of all major economic sectors. The severity largely depends on how long the pandemic will last, the level of social distancing restrictions on business, and the magnitude and effectiveness of government stimulus packages.

May 31, 2020

In Malaysia’s rapidly growing economy, increasing urbanisation and relatively low labour participation rate among women has continued to create a major demand for foreign labour. The Covid-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges to the government, societies, businesses and individuals.

May 29, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic hit the Malaysian economy, it became clear that the most vulnerable household groups will come mostly from the B40, many of whom are unable to save enough to weather hard economic times.

May 27, 2020

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, refugees face the same challenges as other migrant workers and have been detained, isolated and threatened to be sent home. There have also been mixed views on the handling of these illegal migrants by the authorities but in consideration of the rate of infection among clusters of migrant workers, the government must take stern action to contain the infection and take the opportunity to identify unregistered and illegal migrants in the country. 

May 20, 2020

This report will highlight areas of focus needed for an added perspective to the challenges facing Malaysian SMEs, the performance of different sectors of the economy, what are the potential remedies and solutions available and where the focus of policy-making should be directed to.

May 20, 2020

Malaysia began its lockdown on March 18 with four extensions subsequently thereafter to end by June 9 at the time of writing. During this period, women rights groups raised concerns that women and children facing domestic violence and gender-based violence at homes will be more vulnerable in the lockdown.

May 9,2020

This report will highlight areas of focus needed for an added perspective to the challenges facing Malaysian SMEs, the performance of different sectors of the economy, what are the potential remedies and solutions available and where the focus of policy-making should be directed to.

May 8, 2020

After the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government and the resignation of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in February 2020, the nation’s eighth Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is unlikely to announce any major changes in the conduct of the country’s foreign policy especially on the crisis in the South China Sea, for two obviously reasons. First, he is focused on consolidating political power and ensuring the newly-formed Perikatan Nasional coalition government survives. Second, the hallmark of Malaysian foreign policy has been one of “continuity” since the end of the Cold War.

May 5, 2020

The Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has sent shockwaves across food systems around the world. It has disrupted supply chains that are so vital in assuring food security in many countries. The virus has been plaguing countries across the globe for nearly five months now since an epidemic was reported in the central China city of Wuhan in January before the outbreak became a global health crisis in March 2020. Governments around the world, policymakers, organisations, networks, policy experts have begun to realise that Covid-19 is not just a health crisis, it could also lead to a food security crisis if proper measures are not taken.

May 5, 2020

The post-Covid 19 era will have an economy shaped by new habits & regulations based on reduced close-contact interaction and tighter travel & hygiene restrictions. 
The current disruption will change how we eat, work, shop, exercise, manage our health, socialize, and spend our free time – at an unprecedented rate of change.

In this report we look at:

  1. Why our world will be very different
  2. 10 Examples of expected shifts in consumer behavior, and opportunities for businesses
  3. How different Industries are impacted
  4. What to do now

May 2, 2020

Malaysia is one of a handful of countries which had prepared for the eventual arrival of the Covid-19 outbreak, although in hindsight, many critics felt that we could have done more given the severity of the virus outbreak in China earlier in the year. Nevertheless, the government was right to invoke the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, Police Act 1967 and imposed a Movement Control Order (MCO) when there was a real concern of a spike of cases by mid-March and closed all schools and institutions of learning with immediate effect.

April 24, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has already infected 1,356,780 people across 212 areas or territories reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO)1. It was estimated by some that between 40 and 70 per cent of the world’s population could become infected.2 The pandemic shocked many economies and affected the labour market – impacting not only supply (production of goods and services) but also demand (consumption and investment). Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are obviously the hardest hit with business closures during Movement Control Order (MCO), cash flow disruption, and cancellation of orders. For employees, the most affected ones are those earning daily wages, or where their salaries are tied to work completed, and in worst cases, retrenched due to employers not able to sustain the downtime.


June 16, 2020

1. PM paves way for snap poll
2. Khazanah has not pledged funding
3. Musa Aman acquitted
4. Msia: “Bangladesh to take Rohingya”
5. MH17: Defence wants more time

June 9, 2020

1. Top supplier sees no quick end
2. Najib faces July verdict
3. Palm refiners warn of high costs
4. Covid-19:Cabinet to discuss next steps
5. S’pore M’sia suspends HSR

June 2, 2020

1. Malaysia’s FGV optimistic
2. Singapore stimulus not for Malaysia
3. Covid-19 fatal for HSR?
4. Visitors to pay
5. Durian Industry

May 23, 2020

1. Tesco’s slavery review reports abuses in Malaysia
2. India resumes palm oil purchase
3. Small farmers face survival crisis
4. Empty middle seat?
5. Odds stacked against teachers

May 25, 2020

1. Democracy fades in Malaysia as old order returns to power
2. Is Covid-19 fatal to Singapore-Malaysia HSR?
3. China’s ‘hermits’ bets fill doubled oil storage
4. Positive sign: Oil is flirting with ‘backwardation’
5. Quietly, Saudi Arabia goes on a shopping spree

May 18, 2020

1. Oil jumps 9% to US$32 as June futures contract near expiration
2. Why some Asian NOCs are sticking to spending plans
3. SEAsia’s shift to renewables a blow to Japan
4. Oil market is betting people wants crude for Christmas
5. Saudi Arabia: Where has all the money gone?

May 11, 2020

1. Another Singapore oil trader involved in shady deals, says HSBC 
2. Saudi Arabia triples VAT to support economy 
3. Negative oil is positive for clean power 
4. Oil won’t get post-virus lift from public transport 
5. Oil has rallied again. Here’s why it won’t last

May 5, 2020

1. Trump will win the 2020 Election, investing experts say 
2. Hin Leong tarnishes fading Singapore brand 
3. Global oil demand starts a long, painful and uncertain recovery 
4. China oil majors spill red ink in blow to national economic revival

May 27, 2020

1. Most SE Asia stocks rise on stimulus hopes, Malaysia leads
2. Covid-19 crushes overseas dreams of Asian students
3. China is its own worst enemy
4. Thai shoppers awaken to new retail landscape
5. Will wet markets be hung out to dry after the pandemic?

May 20, 2020

1. Muhyiddin, Mahathir rekindle feud as Malaysia looks beyond virus 
2. Malaysian oil palm smallholders face survival crisis 
3. South Korea steps up efforts for economic recovery
4. Reinventing Asian tourism sector 
5. Has Covid-19 killed globalisation?

May 13, 2020

1. Palm Oil Alert : American farmers plant soyabean for corn
2. Cities face reckoning if WFM becomes the norm
3. Covid speeds up China’s rise as US financial rival
4. Indonesia IPOS surge, defying Covid-19 slump
5. Asia’s investors seek opportunities beyond China

May 10, 2020

1. Can Malaysia cope with a triple whammy economic shock? 
2. Covid-19: What to expect in 2021-22 
3. Shippers turn to Belt & Road trains to beat Covid
4. India’s lockdown is forcing women to do all the work 
5. Will it be a downsized Dubai that emerges from pandemic?

June 15, 2020

June 8, 2020

June 1, 2020

May 19, 2020




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The Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (INSAP) is an independent think-tank and research outfit that conducts research and analysis on politics, economics, education, women rights and development, social and other issues in Malaysia. INSAP aims to provide fresh perspectives and bold recommendations to policy formulators, decision-makers and political leaders in Malaysia

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