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'Asia the best place to be today'

Publication Date : 28-09-2012


Asia is the place to be in this time of change and uncertainty, says CIMB Group group chief executive Nazir Razak.

“This is the Asian century. Within Asia, I pick Asean. South-East Asia is well-positioned. Asia’s future will also rest on how Asians make the best of it,” he said at the Bar Council’s International Malaysia Law Conference plenary session “Asian Landscape: What Next?” in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said the biggest political question in Asia was China’s upcoming 18th Party Congress and whether a smooth transition would follow.

Lawyer Tommy Thomas said one could no longer look to the West for guidelines on banking given its past history and current crisis, adding that Malaysia’s banking model was “pretty good”.

“For the Asian thinking, the policy and decision-making must be indigenous. This is the challenge for Asia in the coming years,” he said.

Thomas said greater economic input was needed from the layman, adding that common sense was valuable to trade.

Universiti Malaya’s dean for Social and Behavioural Science, Research Cluster Prof Edmund Terence Gomez stressed the importance of institutional and policy reform to help boost the economy and instil greater confidence among investors.

Affirmative action, he said, should not be practised in business as “selective patronage was not beneficial to the economy”.

Giving a rundown on the government’s Economic Transformation Programme at a later session, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Idris Jala said Malaysians should get out of the vortex where the discussion was “Who got government contracts?”

Instead, he said: “The question you should be asking is: How can I make it out there?”

To a question, he suggested that the Bar Council come up with proposals on how the government could help the legal profession get a foothold in overseas markets.

On whether Pemandu would take up the suggestion over an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, Jala said they had pioneered a system in Selangor where anyone who lodges a report could assess the police immediately onsite or later via SMS.

He added that a complainant could also track the status of his police report – as with a package that had been couriered.


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