Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2010 (Revised September 2011)

Malaysia: People First?

by Diego A. Comin and John Abraham


On March 30, 2010, Prime Minister Najib Razak presented his new economic model (NEM) for Malaysia. With the goal of raising per capita income to over $15,000 by 2020 from the current level of $6,634, the plan included measures to improve human capital, reduce migration and privatize inefficient government linked corporations (GLCs). However, the most controversial part of the NEM was the dismantling of the new economic policy (NEP), an affirmative action program for native Malays that had alleviated racial tensions and reduced inter-racial income inequality over the previous 40 years though, some argued, at the cost of fostering corruption.

Keywords: Globalized Economies and Regions; Problems and Challenges; Crime and Corruption; Developing Countries and Economies; Development Economics; Emerging Markets; Transformation; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Wealth and Poverty; Equality and Inequality; Malaysia;


Comin, Diego A., and John Abraham. "Malaysia: People First?" Harvard Business School Case 710-033, April 2010. (Revised September 2011.)