June, 6th 2014 

Yang Berhormat Nurul Izzah, MP of Lembah Pantai and Vice President of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) gave a speech in the University of Oxford last Tuesday to a group of Malaysian students on the topic of Malaysian governance and reform.

Nurul Izzah started her talk by highlighting the importance of establishing the right economic framework in light of the TPPA agreement so as to avoid the great divide between the rich and the poor. Here she also mentioned the works by Stilgitz’s Price of Inequality and Pikkety’s Capital.

The Daughter of opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim also talked about the importance of reforming the sovereign wealth fund into making it more responsible and transparent to the Public. She cited the example of Norway’s SWF, Government Pension Fund of Norway and its governance that led to it ultimately to accumulate and build over RM$1 trillion in its investment portfolio.

As for educational matters, she explained how roughly 20% of the Malaysian population only managed to get tertiary education whilst the other 80%, high school education with SPM certificates (equivalent to Brunei’s O-Levels).

She warned that the lack of education could fuel more unemployment across the country, a consequence of which can lead to more inequality. “One way to tackle this problem”, she said, “is to establish vocational and technical schools. These schools will equip the young people the right skills required for them to get proper jobs.”

Furthermore Nurul Izzah gave Singapore as a prime example of how countries can succeed in its economic development. “When they want to get solutions they invite top speakers from around the world, i.e. Joesph Stilgitz, to attend their annual forums and conferences. This will ensure they (Singaporeans) will rise above its problem as well as get up to date information of what’s going on with the world right now.”

She further noted the importance of globalisation in national development, “It is being open to new ideas and being able to learn from others that can ensure Malaysia’s continual development. For instance, many are seeing Bogota as having a top notch transportation system. We can and should learn from them to improve our own.”

In the question and answer session, she shared her thoughts on becoming a successful leader. “Being able to represent the Rakyat and providing them concrete results are key.” she said.

Attending the talk too were three Bruneians namely Nadirah and Yu Neng Khong from Oxford University, and Abdul Malik Omar from University of Essex.