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  • Writer's pictureYB Wong Chen

Busy as a Bee, Happy as a Lark

Good morning. We have been busy the last two days looking at financial data and also oil reserve data. We will delve deeper into these issues as we approach the budget debates in October. My office will try to prepare an initial report out on oil and corporate Malaysia in the next few weeks. Nadirah is arranging an oil and gas expert to talk to us next week.

The interns are in their stride and are busy pursuing their own areas of policy interests. We run a simple policy discussion system here at my office. The interns tell me what policy issues interest them. We then discuss these issues and I will guide them on what to look for and how to frame the issues. When they find something interesting, we have a second, third and fourth meetings. Then when ready they prepare a report structure. We discuss the structure until we get it right. Then they go about researching and finally writing the report. We focus on broad desktop research but the discipline is roughly the same. They have to consider data, budgets, timing, scalability, some economics and also behavioural economics.

At the moment, interns Anton and Louise are collaborating to write an anti corruption paper. This is a follow up on the lectures I have been giving and also Dr. Loi’s visit last week.

Louise is also contemplating a gender issues paper with Abigail. I have asked them to look at the Swedish experience. This is a follow up on my Finnish friend’s visit to the office a couple of weeks ago.

Yesterday Anton, myself and my friend William Arul (a passionate Tamil armchair historian) had a sit down to look at urban poor policy issues, specifically the Indian poor experience. We looked at some policies carried out by Modi in India. We may not agree with his politics but we can still draw knowledge from his policies.

My other intern Eric Lim is focusing on policy reforms for the police force. He is looking at ICAC Hong Kong and also the Singapore police force experiences and processes. This is a really exciting topic and we hope to get a skeletal paper out in 3 weeks.

All in, the office is very busy with policy matters. So despite the complete mess of national politics, I am glad that this office continues to do positive things that are within our control. I go to work everyday happy as a lark and continue to have great hope that the next generation, my staff and interns will make this nation better for all.


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