Prime Minister Najib Razak misses an opportunity.

Editor’s note: This note provides an introduction to a comprehensive review prepared by Datuk Ramesh Chander and Dr Bridget Welsh of the recently released 11th Malaysia Five Year Plan. The full review can be viewed and downloaded here or below.

Prime Minister Najib unveiled the 11th Malaysia Five Year Plan (11MP) in the Malaysian Parliament in May. In his presentation, he emphasised that the Plan ending in 2020 would mark the point at which Malaysia would join the ranks of “high income” or “developed” countries.

At the heart of the 11MP document are four major flaws: unrealistic macroeconomic assumptions, arbitrary development targets, a lack of detail concerning the methodologies employed, and a lack of a clear policy framework to address the country’s development challenges. As a policy document, it suffers from major gaps and shortcomings. The 11MP showcases how serious planning and meaningful engagement with тАОthe country’s problems has been replaced by a deeply flawed public relations effort.

This paper is the first New Mandala Inquirer: a new series offering the best in-depth analysis of Southeast Asia’s key issues. Read the full review here or by clicking on the cover page below.