Perdana Leadership Foundation CEO Forum 2013

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0845 PLENARY SESSION: “Is the World Headed Towards Another Financial Catastrophe?” 

“The intervals between crises seem to be getting shorter, and the fallout from each crisis seems to be worse than the last.”

by Paul Krugman, The New York Times (30 Jan, 2014). 

While the big economies of US and Europe are still struggling to recover from the 2008 financial meltdown, there are signs indicating that the next crisis is not too far off the horizon, especially for economies that are riding on credit-fuelled growth. Is this outlook unnecessary pessimism or a realistic expectation? Which countries seem to be most at risk of another crisis? How will another crisis impact Malaysia? Are there defensive measures that Malaysia should take to ensure the adverse effects are minimised?

1045 BREAK
1100 CONCURRENT SESSION A: “The Importance of ASEAN for Financial Resilience” 

If ASEAN was a country, its GDP would be the seventh largets in the world. With a population of 600 million people, half of whom are under the age of 30, ASEAN represents tremendous growth prospects for a trading nation like Malaysia. Can ASEAN also act as an effective buffer against a global financial crisis? Following the 1997 Asian currency crisis, the Chiang Mai initiative for bilateral currency swaps was set up in place of (or leading towards) the shelved Asian Monetary Fund. Is the Chiang Mai Initiative sufficient? Can there be other initiatives to strengthen the economic defences of ASEAN nations, and will the new single-market ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) result in a financially and economically tougher ASEAN?

CONCURRENT SESSION B: “Steering Through Rough Waters: Leadership in Times of Crisis”

Every country and organisation will go through periods of trouble – times when events seem to conspire against you and survival is precarious. These are the moments that separate good leaders from weak ones. How then does a leader ensure that he or she makes the right decisions when the cost of wrong choices is high, even fatal? What are the traits necessary for good leadership in times of crises? This session will draw on the opinions and experiences of the panel members, and provide some framework for separating good from bad leadership in times of crisis. 

CONCURRENT SESSION C: “How Strong is Malaysia? A Crisis Resilience Scorecard for Malaysia” 

How does one define national resilience to global risks, especially from the economic viewpoint? The World Economic Forum defines resilience as the ability to recover from events and adapt to new landscapes. Is Malaysia, by that definition, resilient? Are there ways in which we can increase our ability to absorb and withstand shocks? With the world becoming more inter-connected, a country’s reactions to external shocks, a function of its resilience, can impact on other countries. National resilience is thus an essential ingredient for survival in a highly networked and volatile world. 

1400 CONCURRENT SESSION D: “Taking Malaysian Productivity from the Industrial Era to the Knowledge Age”

“If there’s to be sustainable growth in per-capita incomes and living standards, not just in aggregate GDP, then the focus must be on capital deepening and productivity growth.”

by The International Monetary Fund on Asian countries’ growth potential.

Malaysia achieved a 2.3% productivity growth in 2013, higher than global labour productivity growth of 1.7%. This is a commendable achievement although it is below the country’s average pre-2008 productivity growth rate of 3%. To achieve its goal of becoming a high-income economy in the year 2020, Malaysia has to ensure that its productivity continues to improve. What are the current challenges to increasing Malaysian productivity? Are the current measures of productivity keeping pace with our evolution into a digital, service-oriented economy?

CONCURRENT SESSION E: “ How Can Malaysians and Malaysian Companies Best Prepare for a Financial Crisis?”

“We are a trading nation. Currently we are seeing the collapse of the markets we depend upon. One way or another, the current financial crisis of the West will impact us. We are just coming up. But we see our heads being pushed under water and we don’t relish that possibility.”

by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

The next financial crisis is a matter of “When”, not “If”. Panelists in this session will give their views on what individuals and organisations can do to protect themselves against the worst of the coming global meltdown.

CONCURRENT SESSION F: “Is Malaysian Education in Crisis?”

In the 2013 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Malaysian secondary school students did worse than Thai and Vietnamese students for Mathematics, Science and Reading. In the latest Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2014 for universities under 50 years old, no Malaysian university made it to the list. Of course, international tests and rankings are not comprehensive measures of how good an education system is, but they do seem to signal Malaysia’s falling educational standards. For a nation that aims to become a knowledge-economy and relies on our schools and universities to supply the minds of the future, falling educational attainment is a worrying thing. So, is the Malaysian education system in crisis? If it is, what are the most important and immediate corrective measures that we need to take?


1530 SPECIAL SESSION  WITH EY: “Industries of High Growth and Resilience, 2015 and Beyond”

The Country Managing Partner of Ernst and Young Malaysia along with top Ernst & Young leaders from around the region discuss the industries of high growth and resilience for 2015 and beyond. Which business sectors will be the strongest in weathering economic and financial storms? Which businesses are expected to yield the highest returns? 

Closing Keynote Address by YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir MohamadFourth Prime Minister of Malaysia & Honorary President, Perdana Leadership Foundation