Abstract: This paper explores Singapore's economic success. Despite its small size, the country has rapidly grown since independence in 1965. Its strategic Southeast Asian location, pro-business atmosphere, strong governance, effective policies, top-notch infrastructure, and human capital development have driven its shift from a low-income to a high-income economy in under five decades. Education excellence and a skilled workforce have propelled Singapore up global value chains, attracting high-value foreign investments. This paper uses the 8i ecosystem framework (institutions, interaction, integrity, infrastructure, infostructure, intellectual capital, incentives, and internationalization) to analyze Singapore's success, revealing its impact on politics, society, and the economy. Other nations can draw insights from Singapore's accomplishments.
Reference: Teow, H. H., Balakrishnan, D. G., Ahmed, P. K., Nair, M. S., & Vaithilingam, S. (2023). 8i Ecosystem Analysis of the Pace-Setter ASEAN Country: Singapore (Working Paper No. IGSC WP 2023-002). Sunway Institute for Global Strategy and Competitiveness.
Keywords: Singapore, the pace-setter ASEAN country, the current state of play, 8i ecosystem analysis
Abstract: This paper presents two case studies emphasizing the role of indigenous communities in biodiversity conservation. The first case study shows how integrating indigenous knowledge in scientific investigations is vital for optimal biodiversity preservation. The second case study demonstrates involving indigenous communities in forest patrolling and ecotourism benefits biodiversity and their livelihoods. To promote this involvement, authorities must develop effective strategies.
Reference: Teow, H. H., Tang, S., Ahmed, P. K., Nair, M. S., & Vaithilingam, S. (2023). Roles of Malaysian Indigenous Communities in Biodiversity Conservation: A Case Study Approach (Working Paper No. IGSC WP 2023-001). Sunway Institute for Global Strategy and Competitiveness.
Keywords: Indigenous communities, biodiversity conservation, indigenous knowledge and practices
Abstract: Earth’s natural ecological balance and vibrancy have been upended to the degree that we are now fast approaching a tipping point. It is becoming increasingly clear that continued loss of natural habitats and biodiversity will eventually lead to an amplification of a range of risks, such as climate change, flooding, disease emergence and pandemics, clean water shortages, weak crop pollination and a decline in economic productivity. This paper focuses on the last risks, examining the nexus between biodiversity and economics. There is growing evidence of the dependence of global and regional economies on natural assets, and the degradation of global biodiversity could lead to significant economic risks. Viewed from another vantage point, there is considerable opportunity for countries and regions worldwide to embrace biodiversity conservation and invest in natural infrastructure as a core component of strategies for development, job creation and socio-economic growth. As we highlight in this report, numerous case studies globally and across Southeast Asia show how this approach can and, in many cases, already has started to work.
Abstract: Blue Economy is a complex, interconnected ecosystem with multiple linkages across many economic, environmental, and social sectors. This Position Paper on the Blue Economy aims to provide a constructive framework for t developing a sustainable, lucrative, inclusive, and futureproofed economy for Malaysia's marine and maritime sectors. It will give science-based policy inputs for the governance mechanism and a collaborative nexus involving central agencies, other government agencies, academia, industry, and community organisations. Eight sectors, namely fisheries and aquaculture; coastal and maritime tourism; extractive industries of non-living resources; naval transport, ports, and related services as well as shipping and shipbuilding; renewable energy; waste disposal management; marine biotechnology and bio-prospecting; desalination for freshwater generation, have been identified as current and potential Blue Economy socio-economic sectors. Meanwhile, ecosystem services and health are included to represent the environmental sector. Ecosystem services include carbon sequestration, shoreline protection, provision of feeding, breeding grounds for fishery life, and climate change management. Habitat loss, pollution, and other impacts from land- and sea-based activities affect the productivity and resilience of the oceans.
Abstract: The global economic landscape is undergoing rapid transformation powered by science, technology, and innovation (STI). One of the major challenges faced by developing countries is to ensure STI policies and strategies are congruent with their socioeconomic aspirations and development. In this study, we propose a new values-based sustainable ecosystem development framework that incorporates the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs) and the global STI drivers to deepen the socioeconomic drivers of countries and communities. The framework also provides insights on how they can nurture network externalities and multiplier impact, all of which are critical for economic agents to "leap-frog" to higher stages of development aligned with the UN-SDGs.
Reference:Nair, M., Ahmed, P., & Vaithilingam, S. (2022). Values-Based Development and Competitiveness: A Conceptual Analysis (Policy Brief No. 2022-001) Sunway Institute for Global Strategy and Competitiveness.
Keywords: Global economic landscape, Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI), developing countries, STI policies and strategies, socioeconomic aspirations, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs).
Abstract: A*STAR is instrumental in spearheading and navigating Singapore’s research and development direction. A*STAR’s primary goals align with the national Research, Innovation, and Enterprise (RIE) Plan. Specifically, the RIE plan is refreshed every five years to establish an ecosystem that accelerates the translation of research and development into innovation and commercialization (RIE, 2020). The five-year blueprint focuses on four broad strategic domains: advanced manufacturing and engineering (AME); health and biomedical sciences (HBMS); urban solutions and sustainability (USS); and Services and digital economy (SDE) (RIE, 2020).
Reference: Teow, H. H., Ahmed, P. K., Nair, M. S., & Vaithilingam, S. (2022). Unveiling the Significance of A*STAR’s Contributions to Singapore's National Development Plan (Working Paper No. IGSC WP 2022-003). Sunway Institute for Global Strategy and Competitiveness.
Keywords A*STAR, research and development, innovation, commercialization
Abstract: This paper offers an overview of marine protected areas (MPAs) in Southeast Asia (SEA). Despite having a small marine surface area, SEA hosts significant biodiversity, including coral reefs and seagrass species. However, it's also highly threatened. To counter biodiversity loss, MPAs are being adopted, but their implementation in SEA faces challenges. Growth has been slower than in other regions, and there are concerns about their true effectiveness. Issues include management, law enforcement, finances, and community involvement. Similarly, terrestrial protected areas aim to conserve biodiversity, but some struggle due to poor management, habitat representation, and connectivity. Urgent action is needed to enhance the efficiency of these protected areas and sustain biodiversity.
Reference: Tang, S., Teow, H. H., Ahmed, P. K., Nair, M. S., & Vaithilingam, S. (2022). Marine protected area in Southeast Asia: A brief look into the current landscape, key benefits, and challenge (Working Paper No. IGSC WP 2022-001). Sunway Institute for Global Strategy and Competitiveness.
Abstract: This paper offers insights into terrestrial biodiversity and protected areas in Southeast Asia. The region boasts diverse biomes, like rainforests and grasslands, concentrated in globally important hotspots housing around 20% of Earth's species. Unfortunately, over 90% of these habitats have been lost due to human activities. To counter this, protected areas were established, but some struggle with inefficiencies. They fail to safeguard species, lack habitat representation, and suffer from connectivity issues. Some even underperform compared to unprotected areas. Urgent action is necessary to address these shortcomings and ensure the sustainability of biodiversity and ecosystems.
Reference: Teow, H. H., Tang, S., Ahmed, P. K., Nair, M. S., & Vaithilingam, S. (2022) Terrestrial biodiversity and protected areas in Southeast Asia (Working Paper No. IGSC WP 2022-002). Sunway Institute for Global Strategy and Competitiveness.
Ng, J.W.J, Vaithilingam, S., Nair, M., Hwang,L.A. and Musa, K.I. (2022), Key predictors of Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Malaysia: An Integrated Framework, Plos-One, 17(50), doi.org 0268926
Vaithilingam, S., Nair, M., Macharia, M. and Venkatesh, V. (2022), Mobile communication and use behavior of the urban poor in a developing country: A field study in Malaysia, International Journal of Information Management 63, 102440.
Pradhan, R.P., Arvin, M.A., Nair, M.S., and Hall, J.H. (2022), The dynamics between financial market development, taxation propensity and economic growth: a study of OECD and non-OECD countries, Quality & Quantity, 56 (3), 1503-1534.
Pradhan, R.P., Arvin, M.A., Nair, M.S., Hall, J.H and Bennet, S.E. (2022), Institutional development in an information-driven economy: can ICTs enhance economic growth for low- and lower middle-income countries? Information Technology for Development, 1-20.
Nasir, N.M., Nair, M.S, Ahmed, P.K. (2022), Environmental sustainability and contemporary Islamic society: a Shariah perspective, Asian Academy of Management Journal, accepted for publication 3 Aug 2022.
Pradhan, R.P., Nair, M.S., Arvin, M.B., Ali, M.S.B., (2022), Intertemporal linkages between Government Expenditure and Corruption in a Digital Economy: A Panel Granger Causality Framework, in Digitization and Economic Development, 1-27, Routledge (Book chapter).
Nair, M., Vaithilingam, S., Ahmed, P.K., Hwang, L.A., Ng, JWJ (2022), Future-Proofing the Talent of Malaysia’s Indian B40 Community for the New Economy: A Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Framework, in Malaysian Indians: Education, Equity and Reimagined Priorities, editors Rajendran Nagappan and Hena Mukerjee, Routledge, UK. Forthcoming (Book chapter).
Abstract: This position paper on COVID-19 discusses three main topics: Malaysia's preparedness and response to infectious disease outbreaks, the impact of the pandemic on Malaysia's health system and socio-economic status, and the use of artificial intelligence and big data analytics in addressing the pandemic. The findings were collected from literature review, surveys, and focus group discussions with experts. The subgroups have highlighted important issues such as decision-making during Movement Control Orders, PPE supply, hospital facilities, and the impact on education, tourism, and SMEs. They have also proposed recommendations for authorities and policymakers to better prepare the nation for future pandemics, including establishing national policies and guidelines, improving laboratory capacity and response, and supporting SMEs and education. The use of digital technology and collaboration were also suggested as essential areas of improvement.
Keywords: COVID-19, Malaysia, preparedness, response, infectious disease outbreaks, pandemic, health system, socio-economic status, artificial intelligence, big data analytics
Nair, M., Arvin, M.B., Pradhan, R.P and Bahmani, S. (2021). Is higher economic growth possible through better institutional quality and a lower carbon footprint? Evidence from developing countries, Renewable Energy. 167, April, 132-145.
Hwang, LA, Vaithilingam, S., Nair, M., Ng, JWJ, (2021), Nurturing academic enthusiasm and creativity among children from vulnerable groups: the role of computers, Behaviour & Information Technology, 1-20.
Nasir, N.M., Nair, M.S, Ahmed, P.K. (2021), Institutional isomorphism and environmental sustainability: a new framework from the Shariah perspective, Environment, Development and Sustainability, 23 (9), 13555-13568.
Arvin, M.B., Pradhan, R.P. and Nair, M. (2021), Uncovering interlinks among ICT connectivity and penetration, trade openness, foreign direct investment and economic growth: The case of the G-20 countries, Telematics and Informatics, Volume 60, July, 101567, Elsevier.
Pradhan, R.P., Arvin, M.B. and Nair, M. (2021), Urbanization, transportation infrastructure, ICT and economic growth: A temporal causal analysis, Cities, 115, 103213.
Pradhan, R., Arvin, M.B, Nair, M., Hall, J. and Bennett, S. (2021), “Sustainable economic development in India: the dynamics between financial inclusion, ICT development and Eocnomic Growth,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 169, August 2o21 120758 , Elsevier.
Arvin, M.B., Pradhan, R.P.and Nair, M. (2021), Are there links between institutional quality, government expenditure, tax revenue and economic growth? Economic Analysis and Policy, 70, 313-333.
Pradhan,R.P., Arvin, M.B., Nair, M., Bennett, S.E., Bahmani, S. (2021), Competitiveness and Economic Growth of Asian Countries, in editors Bahmani-Oskooee, M., Bahmani, S., Kanitpong, T., Asian Countries: Economic, Political and Social Issues, Nova Science Publishers, New York, USA., 1-36.
Vaithilingam, S., Teh PL, Ahmed, P.K., Ho, S.J., Nair, M.S., and Tan, C.P. (2021) Sustainable Smart Transport System: Through the Lens of a Smart City in an Emerging Country, Proceedings of the International Conference of Electronic Business, Volume 21, 455-462, IEB21, Nanjing, China, December 3-7, 2021. ceb.johogo.com/proceedings/2021/ICEB_2021_paper_36_full.pdf