BNM: Globalisation forces policies to be reviewed

The growing discontent and injustice among the marginalised has led to a retreat from globalisation and multilateralism


Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said with rapid technological advancement, globalisation has become an increasingly polarising force which requires to re-examine policy choices and recalibrate the way forward.

Assistant governor Marzunisham Omar (picture) said there have been growing sense of discontent and injustice towards the trend of globalisation in recent years, and Malaysia is not spared from these challenges.

“Although the gains from globalisation are vast and widely acknowledged, its fruits have not been equally shared by all.

“The growing sense of discontent and injustice among the marginalised has led to a retreat from globalisation and multilateralism in the recent period,” he said in his welcoming remarks at the World Bank Group’s conference on “Globalisation: Contents and Discontents” yesterday.

“Globalisation, once envisioned to be a beacon of unity, has fuelled increasing polarisation in recent years.

“The social political and economic issues at hand are more pressing than ever,” he added.

Speaking about the double-edged nature of globalisation, Marzunisham highlighted how it has contributed to the world’s unprecedented economic growth and prosperity.

“Global output has increased more than sixfold in the past 50 years and a billion people have been lifted from abject poverty in just one generation.

“Globalisation has, and will always, exist in a tension but the challenge is finding the right balance between various, and often contrary, objectives,” he said.

“Malaysia faces this challenge, as we liberalise our economy over the years; there are industries and workers affected by rising competition.

“As our economy evolved, we moved away from uncompetitive sectors, while new opportunities opened up,” he added.

In addition, Marzunisham said policies are implemented to facilitate these industries’ transformation, while assisting the displaced workers.

“These include enhancing upskilling programmes, strengthening social safety nets and ensuring sustainable fiscal redistribution.

“Similarly to the risks arising from financial openness as to other emerging economies, Malaysia have experienced several episodes of sharp capital flow reversals and that should be better managed,” he said, adding that more needs to be done to have safer capital flows.

Thus, he believes efforts to strengthen regional and global financial safety nets are vital.

Meanwhile, World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand Dr Mara Warwick, said policies need to catch up to the pace of globalisation’s complexities.

“This includes a reconsideration of regulatory and tax policies in a world of cross-border operations and the rise of ‘superstar’ firms,” he added.