The Making of Anwar Ibrahim’s “Humane Economy”
MALAYSIA STUDIES PROGRAMME WEBINAR
About the Webinar
Anwar Ibrahim, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, 1993-1998, and Opposition Leader, 2008-2015 and since March 2020, is associated with two lasting, seemingly contradictory images. Those were of the young Anwar as a radical Islamist for whom economics seemed not to matter, and as a pro-market reformer during the 1997 East Asian financial crisis for whom Islam no longer mattered. Yet there was economics in the young Anwar’s Islam and, conversely, Islam in the mature man’s economics. Between them lay certain ‘moral ambivalences’ that occupied Anwar during the pre-crisis period when economic growth, prosperity and ambitions were dogged by rent-seeking, corruption and institutional degradation.
Anwar had expressed various thoughts on ‘Islam and economics’, notably when he was President of Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM, or Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement), Minister of Finance (1991 to 1998), and leader of the post-Reformasi opposition. His thoughts formed the core of a ‘humane economy’ that he envisioned and advocated upon his return to active politics from 2006 onwards. The vision of a ‘humane economy’ holds personal, ideological and political significance at a specific political juncture in Malaysian history.
About the Speaker
Khoo Boo Teik, born, bred and schooled in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, before studying at universities in USA and Australia, is Professor Emeritus, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo. He was Visiting Senior Fellow at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore, from September to November 2020. This webinar is based on his Trends in Southeast Asia article of the same title, which can be downloaded here.
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