Vision 2020: Are we there yet? Reflections on Mahathir’s – and Malaysia’s – unfinished business

Malaysia in Transition Seminar Series

About the Seminar

When Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched Vision 2020 in 1991, he presented it as an aspiration for future generations to fulfil, encapsulated in the goal of being a “fully developed country”. Entering this year, Malaysia is immersed in the surreal irony of the Prime Minister inheriting his own legacy pronounced thirty years ago. In the intervening years, Malaysia weathered the Asian financial crisis and global financial crisis and traversed political crises, maintaining steady economic growth and political stability amidst concerns over corruption and democratic regress, persistence in upper middle income status, and nagging economic discontent. The professed reason for Mahathir’s return was to rescue Malaysia from the kleptocracy and misrule that brought national disrepute and supposedly undermined the vision. 

What can we make of Mahathir, and Malaysia, in 2020? How much of Vision 2020 has been achieved, how much deferred or even abandoned? What legacy does the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 hope to leave? At this seminar, Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid shares his insights on the administration’s current challenges and future priorities at this historic juncture. 

This seminar is supported by Temasek Foundation.

About the Speaker

Muhammed Abdul Khalid is currently the Economic Adviser to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Prior to the appointment, he led the Council of Eminent Persons’ (CEP) secretariat. The CEP was set up three days after the 2018 general election to advise the new Malaysian government on economic and financial issues. He has served as consultant for the World Bank, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations Children’s Fund and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. He had also served as a Director of Research at Khazanah Research Institute, Head of Economics at the Securities Commission Malaysia, a senior analyst at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, and a Senior Technical Advisor to UNDP Malaysia. Muhammed obtained his PhD from the Institut d’études Politiques de Paris, France, and holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Malaya and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.


For registration, please click here. Registration closes on 17 January 2020.


Jan 20 2020


2:30 pm - 4:00 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 2