Michael Aw

Michael Aw

Infographics – Deconstructing Economic Indicators: GDP

Today, GDP plays an important part as an economic indicator in our society, central to policymaking and national planning. But what does GDP really mean, and in what ways is it flawed as a metric of development? Read on for a condensed breakdown of our researcher Jaideep Singh's latest work, "REFSA NOTES #8/2022: Deconstructing Economic Indicators: GDP".

REFSA Notes #8/2022: Deconstructing Economic Indicators: Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

GDP is, at its essence, the total value of a country’s production in a given year. The indicators derived from it, such as GDP growth and GDP per capita, are often used as KPIs or major policy objectives. Almost everyone has heard of these three little letters. But what is often forgotten is that GDP is an estimate based on a system of accounting, not a fact of nature. As a result, there are numerous misconceptions about the role of GDP. This note aims to clear the confusion by explaining what GDP is and what it is not.

Wanted: Policies, Not Personalities

Are Malaysians paid fairly for the work they do? That is the question many Malaysians are asking after an article on World of Buzz highlighted the large wage disparity between Malaysia and Singapore. While there are many factors such as cost of living that might have been a factor here, there are other granular reasons that also play a role in enlarging the gap. We speak to Tan E-Hun from REFSA to understand the causes behind this wage disparity.

Infographics – Deconstructing Economic Indicators: Inflation

Malaysia's overall inflation rate stood at 3.4% as of June 2022, well below the global G20 average of 13.9%. But on the ground, many Malaysians are feeling the pinch. So why does it feel like there is a mismatch between official inflation rates and the perceived rise in the cost of living? Read on for a condensed version of our researcher Jaideep Singh's breakdown on what inflation means, how it is measured, and what we can do about it. 

Navigating Great Power Rivalries of the 2020s: Exploring Options of Southeast Asia

A public lecture which intends to further the conversation by exploring the key policy options and dilemmas facing Southeast Asian countries amid growing uncertainty, with a particular attention on how and why many regional countries have insisted to pursue a “hedging” policy (as opposed to “balancing” or “bandwagoning” strategies) vis-à-vis the competing powers.

[REFSA Regional Geopolitics Dialogue] The New Geopolitics of Asia and the Global Order of Tomorrow: Implications for Southeast Asia

Research for Social Advancement (REFSA), a progressive think tank based in Kuala Lumpur, with the support from Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Asia, convened a diverse group of policymakers, academics and thought leaders from across Asia-Pacific for a two-day roundtable in Kuala Lumpur. , with the main aim to explore the global order of today and tomorrow and deliberate and discuss the implications of the US-China rivalry for ASEAN, regional tensions in the South China Sea, and the way forward to manage disruption.
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