COVID-19 Economic Stimulus in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand: Country Experiences and Lessons Learned


About the Webinar

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic recessions induced policy responses of unprecedented breadth and urgency in Southeast Asia. Governments across the region rolled out a broad range of economic stimulus in the early phases of lockdown, to safeguard the well-being of households, preserve jobs and buffer businesses. As countries transitioned to recovery phases, or grappled with more localized lockdowns amidst the challenge of reviving the economy, stimulus measures have increasingly focused on generating new jobs, retraining for new growth sectors and reaching out to persistently vulnerable groups. The concurrence of health and economic crises have also exposed inadequacies in social protection, such as unemployment insurance and cash transfers, and conceived new programmes such as wage subsidies and loan moratoriums. Questions arise on the continuity, and possible institutionalization, of these programmes.

Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand present interesting similarities and differences in economic policy responses to COVID-19. Our speakers will present critical reviews of each country’s efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of the pandemic on households, businesses and society at large. This is the first webinar of an ISEAS regional research project, “COVID-19 Impact and Response in Southeast Asia”. Each webinar in this series will explore a theme through the lens of three Southeast Asian countries, to delve deeply into the experiences of each country and draw out policy lessons uniquely and comparatively.

This webinar is supported by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

About the Speakers

Melati Nungsari is Assistant Professor of Economics at Asia School of Business, and Research Affiliate at MIT Sloan School of Management. She is a microeconomist whose research is on labor informality, entrepreneurship, and labor market integration of vulnerable groups, such as refugees, undocumented persons, and urban poor. She has consulted for and worked on research projects with the UNHCR, UNDP and WHO. She is also the Research Lead for the Rapid Youth Success in Entrepreneurship Program, a Citi-Foundation funded program designed to empower young Malaysians to start businesses, and the Director of the ASEAN Research Center at ASB.

Terence Ho is Associate Professor in Practice at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. Since 2002, he has held policy, research and leadership positions in the Singapore Public Service. While at the Ministry of Manpower, he was involved in designing and implementing measures to protect jobs and livelihoods in the early phase of the COVID-19 outbreak. Terence is the author of Refreshing the Singapore System: Recalibrating Socio-Economic Policy for the 21st Century (World Scientific, 2021).

Archanun Kohpaiboon is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University. His research focuses on industrialization in Thailand, multinational enterprises, global production sharing, free trade agreements, and medical tourism. He works as an international consultant for various international organizations including the World Bank, ADB, ADI Institute, and Economic Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia. He has published three books, 30 papers in leading peer-reviewed journals, and 15 book chapters in the past decade. He also serves as the associate editor of Asian Economic Journal and Thailand and the World Economy.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
2. Click on the unique link in your email.

If you have questions for the speaker, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


Oct 01 2021


10:00 am - 11:30 am