Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) established the Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS). CPPS is an independent and non-partisan public policy institute that aims at fostering open-minded dialogue, enlightened leadership and better governance. In addition, ASLI has been ranked as the top Think Tank in Malaysia and one of the world’s leading Think Tanks in a global study of Think Tanks carried out by the University of Pennsylvania and announced in the United Nations in New York in January 2017. In this global ranking, ASLI’s Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) was ranked the 4th best Think Tank in South East Asia and Pacific.
CPPS upholds an independent, non-partisan and non-racial stance in its research and other policy-oriented activities.
The belief underpinning the establishment of the Centre is that the challenge of building a cohesive, competitive and successful multi-racial Malaysian society can best be met by open discussion buttressed by rigorous analytical work and a spirit of tolerance and respect for the needs and aspirations of all stakeholders in the country.
Presently, the persistence of deep divides and disparities in a wide array of fronts – such as education, employment, health care, housing and infrastructure – points to the urgent need for better strategies and new policies to address systemic inadequacies. These divides and disparities are found not only in the economic sectors, but also in the social and cultural spheres.
Through an innovative mix of policy research, strategic communications and targeted outreach, the Centre’s mission is to engage and educate the public and policy makers on best practice policies and successful change strategies that can ensure inclusive development for all Malaysians.
Amongst the priority areas that the Centre is working on are the following:
Interfaith dialogue and freedom of religion: Work focuses on review of policies that have had major impact-both positive and negative –on national unity and the chasm between different religious groups in Malaysia. Arising from the review, appropriate policy interventions will be put forward. Roundtables, seminars and discussion panels will be conducted to propose corrective actions and therefore strengthen unity, freedom of religion, interfaith dialogue and social cohesion.
Women and Gender Equality
Gender equality is an important aspect for sustainable development. CPPS has a steadfast commitment to promote women’s empowerment, eliminate gender-based discrimination and enhance equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development and human rights.
To ensure that Malaysia does not lag behind in the global economy, it is necessary to review Malaysia’s international competitiveness. Work focuses on addressing the constraints that impede the progress of socio-economic growth and ways to strengthen social-economic growth.
There is a new urgency for educational reform to enable Malaysian youth to remain relevant in a globalised economy. Areas of intervention include but not limited to recommending specific changes to improve policies, education pedagogy and educational institutions.
Transparency and Good Governance
Commitment to the causes of improving democratic processes and transparency is crucial to sustain and improve a well-functioning society. CPPS aims at strengthening good governance in Malaysia.
At the core of sustainable development is an approach to development that looks to balance different, and often competing, needs against an awareness of the environmental, social and economic limitations we face as a society. All too often, development is driven by one particular need, without fully considering the wider or future impacts.