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 26, 2020

Malaysia currently hosts over 160,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers, with the majority coming from Myanmar. Malaysia has not ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention and therefore refugees and asylum seekers have no legal rights in Malaysia. The official position of the Malaysian Government is to categorize UNHCR registered refugees and asylum seekers as ‘illegal’ or ‘undocumented migrants’ and domestic law criminalises such migrants.

April 23, 2020

The global strategic war over energy is here, it is sending ripple effects through every sector of the economy. The smart money is positioning itself to take advantage.

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.

April 21, 2020

The Malaysian economy in the first half of 2020 will without a doubt be in dire straits, hit by a multitude of crises, from the COVID19 pandemic to the partial lockdown to the oil market crash. The domino effects stemming from what was originally a health crisis will be one never seen before in modern economic

April 19, 2020

The MCO may have a more rippling effect on the community as the situation develops, however the government needs to take on the leadership role to guide the people on how to deal with the social changes that are happening very quickly. Basic necessities must be met if it wants to prevent the onslaught of crime which will bring more instability to the country. This crime is not just related to attempted theft or robbery from desperation, but also crime resulting from mental stress such as domestic abuse, racial slurs, and others as mentioned in this paper. Hence, the government needs to take these issues very seriously if it wants the country to get back on its feet post MCO.

April 18, 2020

The Malaysian government national debt is a subject of much debate, with proponents on both sides
claiming that their version of national debt reporting is correct. This report will attempt to uncover the
truths and fallacies of the national debt calculation and explore considerations of the political economy
involved behind this contested figure.

April 15, 2020

A global novel coronavirus which was first reported in Wuhan, China has now spread to over 170 countries, and resulted in more than 95,000 deaths at the time of writing. This global pandemic has caused one third of the world population to be in a full or a partial lock down situation. At present, many schools around the world are closed, supply chains are disrupted, frontline medical workers are working like never before, and the economy has almost come to a momentary pause.

April 15, 2020

Covid-19 is the ultimate test for the nation’s healthcare system

The Covid-19 pandemic that is sweeping across the world has exposed how underprepared our healthcare system in dealing with a national health emergency of this unprecedented magnitude.

April 10, 2020

The new SARS-COV-2 or COVID 19 Coronavirus has upended business as we know it and as the number of domestic infections rise, a Movement Control Order (MCO) was imposed devastating cashflows for all companies in Malaysia.

April 5, 2020

“It’s figuring us out faster than we’re figuring it out!” ujar watak Dr. Alex Hextall, seorang pakar virus menerusi filem Contagion pada 2011 yang mengisahkan bagaimana seorang wanita dijangkiti virus MEV-1 telah menyebabkan jangkitan pada skala besar sehingga mengakibatkan banyak negara diletakkan dalam situasi kuarantin.

March 31, 2020

You can run but you can’t hide” could be the title of a song or a quote from American heavyweight boxer Joe Louis to his contender at the eve of a boxing match.

However during this Covid-19 season, this song or quote is in reference to all ages, gender or class. As someone correctly pointed out, even the young or rich are not spared from this Covid-19 scourge that is ruining life socially and economically.

March 2, 2020

Last week, OPEC and Russia had failed to agree on oil production cuts during their meeting in Vienna amid record low crude oil prices due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, thus ending the OPEC-Russia alliance. Russia instead balked at the idea of cutting oil production, sparking an all-out price war with the Saudis pledging to ramp up production to maximum capacity to 12 million barrels a day in a move to flood the market.

February 1, 2020

On the eve of the Chinese New Year celebrations, a new strain of virus known as the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) believed to have originated from a bat in the Hubei province stormed international headlines, triggering fears of a pandemic outbreak much like the SARS crisis of 2003. No less worrying was that the virus seemed to have appeared in Wuhan, the geo-demographic centre of Mainland China and a central transportation hub for hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens.

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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