About PRAXIS​

PRAXIS is ISIS Malaysia’s flagship public policy conference. Its central tenet is translating theory and knowledge into practice. We do this by shaping and developing better policy ideas towards actionable solutions.

This year’s theme, Policies for a better tomorrow, explores the challenges that our nation faces on the societal, economic and environmental front.

The nation needs robust public policy solutions to build a better tomorrow. PRAXIS 2024 represents an ambitious attempt to take stock of existing challenges, identify and highlight potential solutions and chart the way forward.

Speakers

Tuesday, 13 August 2024

0800-0900
Registration and arrival Renaissance Kuala Lumpur
0900-0910
Welcoming remarks by YBhg Datuk Prof Dr Mohd Faiz Abdullah Chairman of ISIS Malaysia
0910-0915
Video remarks by YAB Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim Prime Minister of Malaysia
0915-930
Keynote address by YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry
0930-1030
Positioning Malaysia’s trade and economic priorities amid a shifting global landscape Spotlight session 1

As the world grapples with escalating geopolitical uncertainty, trade protectionism and shifting economic alliances, Malaysia, a highly open and trade-dependent economy, is at a crossroads. The changing global landscape presents risks and opportunities for Malaysia, especially as it gears up to assume the ASEAN chair in 2025. This session will explore how Malaysia could navigate these complex dynamics to bolster its trade and economic strategies, ensuring they serve both regional interests and domestic economic goals. How can Malaysia leverage on ASEAN leadership to enhance regional cooperation and align with the economic aspirations of a growing Global South? How can Malaysia make use of economic diplomacy to advance its domestic socio-economic objectives outlined in the Madani Economy Framework? How can public policy ensure that the benefits of economic openness are shared more evenly?

1030-1100
Break
1100-1200
Advancing Malaysia’s economic complexity to achieve NIMP2030 goals Spotlight session 2

Economic complexity refers to a country’s ability to produce a diverse range of sophisticated and technologically advanced products while measuring the depth of its knowledge creation and productive capabilities. Nations with high economic complexity tend to exhibit sustained economic growth, higher productivity and increased per capita incomes over the longer term. Malaysia has set ambitious targets to increase its economic complexity ranking under the New Industrial Master Plan 2030. This strategy involves expanding advanced manufacturing capabilities, investment in higher quality education, and building a better innovation ecosystem. To achieve these goals, however, requires overcoming longstanding domestic policy challenges, amid increasingly challenging outlook for global supply chains. This session aims to explore Malaysia’s efforts towards driving greater economic complexity. How are the current initiatives faring and what are the key obstacles to deepen economic complexity? How can we align the interests of public, private and academic institutions to develop a truly innovative and skill-driven economy capable of thriving in the global marketplace?

1200-1345
Lunch
1345-1400
Keynote address by YB Tuan Steven Sim Chee Keong Minister of Human Resources
1400-1515
Adapting Malaysia’s future of work to generative artificial intelligence Research session 1

The advent of generative artificial intelligence (AI) like generative pre-trained transformer (GPT)-based models and other emerging AI technologies have reignited concerns about the future of work, particularly its potential to displace, augment or change jobs across industries. Generative AI technologies, unlike previous waves of automation that replaced physical and routine tasks, aim to automate higher-order cognitive tasks. This raises the possibility of a greater scope of job displacement than initially anticipated, affecting jobs across a wider range of sectors. There are further concerns that technological advancement will accelerate skill-biased technological change and further widen the gap between high-skilled and low-skilled workers in Malaysia. This session will explore the potential job and skill impacts of generative AI and other novel AI technologies on Malaysia’s future workforce. How will the job landscape change in the coming years? What policy strategies can Malaysia adopt to mitigate the risks of job displacement while incentivising job creation in emerging AI-driven sectors? How can Malaysia adapt the education and skills training ecosystem and labour market policies to better prepare workers, firms and society for the risks and opportunities created by technological change?

1515-1545
Break
1545-1700
Regulating social media platforms while protecting free speech Research session 2

Harmful online content continues to proliferate on social media platforms. Existing countermeasures, however, were either designed in a different era for different-use cases or inadequate to address the challenges at scale. For instance, certain legal provisions were drafted before the advent of modern platforms and are blunt tools that could suppress free speech rights. Meanwhile, emerging technologies, such as generative AI, threaten to lower the barriers to creating realistic manipulated information, enabling its production at scale. This exacerbates existing problems with harmful online content. Efforts have been made to address these issues, such as social media licensing. The effectiveness of these measures preventing the spread of harmful online content remains to be seen. This session will explore how platform regulation should be structured, what international best practices to consider, and how these fit into Malaysia’s socio-political context and balanced by free speech imperatives. The aim is to outline innovative strategies for protecting Malaysia’s information environment.

Wednesday, 14 August 2024

0800-0915
Registration and arrival Renaissance Kuala Lumpur
0915-1030
Diversifying technology options for Malaysia’s energy transition Research session 3

 

Malaysia aspires to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as early as 2050, with the National Energy Transition Roadmap spearheading the decarbonisation of the energy sector. Despite the broad suite of initiatives announced and anticipated investments, fossil fuels are still expected to make up 77% of Malaysia’s primary energy supply and 29% of electricity installed capacity in 2050, with gas as the dominant source. Natural carbon sinks, which are themselves threatened by deforestation and development, shoulder a heavy burden of absorbing the volume of unabated emissions required to turn net-zero goals into reality. Hence, Malaysia should look beyond the portfolio of mainstream solutions currently considered  – solar, hydroelectricity, bioenergy, battery storage, hydrogen, and electric vehicles – and assess the long-term viability of other options. Nascent technologies, such as small modular reactors, carbon capture for power plants, pumped hydro storage and others, could potentially complement existing measures and further displace fossil fuels, cementing greater degrees of decarbonisation. This session seeks to explore the feasibility of emerging or fringe energy transition technologies and assess their benefits, risks and alternatives before proposing informed policy directions to diversify the options for Malaysia’s energy transition.

1030-1100
Break
1100-1200
Exploring pathways towards human-wildlife coexistence in Malaysia Spotlight session 3

As one of the world’s 12 megadiverse countries, Malaysia’s biodiversity and wildlife are integral to its natural heritage and deeply embedded in its cultural, economic and national identity. The ongoing ecological and climate crisis, fuelled by an economic system that thrives on maximum extraction from the planet and people, has caused significant harm to the natural world. Intensifying competition for space has escalated human-wildlife conflicts and roadkill incidents, making many species vulnerable and pushing some, including iconic species, to the brink of extinction. For instance, there are fewer than 150 Malayan tigers, symbolised in the Jata Negara, remaining in the wild. Malaysia is at a critical juncture, forced to confront these issues before more species become extinct, triggering an ecosystem collapse. This session will delve into key elements of Malaysia’s management of human-wildlife conflicts and overall approach to biodiversity conservation. Representatives from diverse backgrounds will discuss policy and regulatory measures, innovative solutions and best practices and society’s role in setting a path towards a sustainable and harmonious relationship between humans and wildlife.

1200-1400
Lunch
1400-1515
Integrating health and social care for Malaysia’s care economy Research session 4

Asia’s rapidly aging societies underscores the urgent necessity for social services to meet care needs over the long term. But a key barrier to effective delivery and organisation of social services is the dominant approach of treating health and social care as entirely separate policy domains in favour of a curative health approach that threatens to strain public health systems further. This stands in the way of adopting promotive and preventative measures that could be critical to meeting care needs. In Malaysia, latest developments outlined in the Health White Paper and impending legislation, such as the Senior Citizens’ Bill, offer new opportunities to reform health and social care services to meet these gaps. This session takes stock of the aged care economy and best practices from across the region preparing for aging nation status, while delving into systemic reforms surrounding the care economy, community-based care and long-term care insurance. In essence, it outlines the vision for an ideal endpoint: the seamless and equitable provision of services for the elderly.                                                               

1515-1545
Break
1545-1645
Reviewing urban solutions to aging in the city Spotlight session 4

Rapidly ageing societies across Asia underscore the urgent need for mobilising planning policies to develop age-friendly urban infrastructure. With 79% of Malaysia’s population concentrated in urban areas, cities must respond to this challenge, especially amid a cultural preference for ageing-in-place. A key barrier to healthy and active ageing for elderly living in cities is the exclusionary policies which isolate elderly from social participation and interaction with their surroundings. Age-friendly cities would not only support elderly wellbeing but also impact wider social agendas, such as better disability inclusion, opportunities for social mobility, and the creation of public spaces and social infrastructure. This session explores best practices in implementing age-friendly urban development policies and takes stock of the challenges, drawing inspiration from successful age-friendly cities across the country.

1645-1700
Closing remarks by YBhg Datuk Prof Dr Mohd Faiz Abdullah Chairman, ISIS Malaysia

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