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Second Takeoff: Strategies for Malaysia's Economic Resurgence

  • Description
  • Praise
  • About the Author
  • The Malaysian economy is at a crossroads amid global and regional shifts in geopolitics. Malaysia is in a prime position to benefit from the renewed appetite for investment into the region. If Malaysia gets its priorities right, this could be the beginning of the country's next economic takeoff.

    An updated collection of Chin Tong's writings on economics, society and governance over the years, this book provides policy suggestions to catapult Malaysia's development to the league of high-income nations amid ongoing geopolitical trends. Central to his thesis is the need for Malaysia to create a middle-class society, in which the economic structure supports the creation of dignified jobs with decent pay for all Malaysians.

    Chin Tong is no stranger to the centrality of jobs in the pursuit of a good life, having grown up selling lottery tickets alongside his mother and waiting tables as a teenager to make ends meet for his working-class family. His eventual experience as a Member of Parliament for over a decade and a Deputy Minister in two different administrations further confirmed his beliefs that good jobs are the crucial missing component in Malaysia's growth engine.

    In this book, Chin Tong takes us on a whirlwind tour of Malaysia's socio-economic history, what went wrong after the first growth miracle of 1988–1997 and how to make things right this time around. Ultimately, the book tells the story of how to fulfil Chin Tong's undying wish for a Malaysia where everyone has a chance to live a good life with a good job under a responsible and kind state.


    • Abbreviations and Acronyms
    • Foreword
    • Preface
    • About this book
    • Acknowledgements
    • Introduction
    • Building a Middle-Class Society:
      • Restructuring the Labour Market
      • Redefining the Role of Government
      • Reimagining Industrial Policy
      • Rethinking Fiscal Policy
    • Changing the Way We Measure Success:
      • Repurposing the State in a Stakeholder Economy
      • Re-envisioning a Good Life for All
    • Think System:
      • Renegotiating the Federal-State Relationship
      • Reforming Parliament in the Spirit of Bipartisanship
      • Strengthening Governance in a Young Democracy
    • Solidarity
    • Notes and References
  • “Liew Chin Tong's Second Takeoff brilliantly captures Malaysia's unique opportunity for transformative growth. His profound insights are crucial to the much-needed public discourse on vital issues shaping our nation. This book inspires us to shed cynicism and renew our commitment to progress. An essential read for anyone aspiring for a better Malaysia.”
    —Anthony Loke, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General and Minister of Transport, Malaysia

    “Chin Tong's 25-year public service experience at both federal and state levels, voracious reading and deep social democratic leanings provide a rich concoction of well-informed thoughts, ideas and ruminations on building an economic framework that is not just sustainable, but also equitable to all. The development of such deep intellect is evident from the collection of essays and speeches in Second Takeoff: Strategies for Malaysia's Economic Resurgence. Vision, intellect, and passion for service — the embodiment of these qualities in Chin Tong — have come across clearly through this book which could be regarded as a potential blueprint of what is necessary for our nation to build on past 'hits', and right past 'misses'. In short, this book should be a must-read for every earnest policymaker.”
    —Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Malaysia

    “Chin Tong's Second Takeoff builds on a workable, relevant industrialisation policy — which is effective in rejuvenating the labour market. However, much rests in Malaysia's ability to fully utilise ideas to rejuvenate the economy across the policy spectrum — away from the usual market-based approach which has proved problematic during the pandemic.

    Kudos to a fellow reformist, who remains unflinching in his advocacy of ideas for a better, more dynamic Malaysia.”
    —Nurul Izzah Anwar, Vice President, People's Justice Party, Malaysia

    “Chin Tong's commentaries on Malaysia's future show a remarkable ability to weave together politics, economics, and other trends to give a perceptive assessment. As a political leader, he has a read on developments, which few others have. The reader will be well rewarded with rich insights.”
    —Manu Bhaskaran, Regional economist and long-time commentator on Asia

  • Liew Chin Tong is the Deputy Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry. He is currently the Member of Parliament for Iskandar Puteri, after being elected on 19 November 2022. He is also the State Assemblyperson for Perling, Johor. He was a Senator in the Dewan Negara (17 July 2018 to 17 July 2021) and served as Deputy Defence Minister from 17 July 2018 to 24 February 2020.

    He was first elected Member of Parliament for Bukit Bendera (2008–2013) and was subsequently the Member of Parliament for Kluang (2013–2018).

    Since 1999, Chin Tong has served the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in various capacities and is now a member of its Central Executive Committee, serving as the Deputy Secretary-General. He is also the Chairman of Johor DAP.

    Chin Tong graduated with a degree in Political Science and an honours degree in Asian Studies from the Australian National University, and holds an International Masters in Regional Integration from the Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya.

    Chin Tong is the Chairman of Research for Social Advancement (REFSA) since 2012 and was the Executive Director of Penang Institute (previously Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute, SERI, from 2009–2012). He was also formerly a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore.

    He is passionate about policies relating to the economy, defence and security, institutional reform, political Islam, security and international relations, and urban studies.

ISBN: 9789811291609
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 396
Year Published: 2024
Language: English