This book analyses Malaysia’s ability to respond to the socioeconomic challenges of globalisation. With the commencement of the Asean Free-Trade Area (AFTA) in 2003, the movement towards the formation of Asean+3 (China, Japan and South Korea), and the prospects of some Asean countries establishing free-trade agreements with Australia, New Zealand and the United States, the challenges of greater competition will increase substantially. Furthermore, the rising influence of the Chinese economy will impact adversely on the economies of the region.
The haunting question is, Are we ready? Is Malaysia competitive enough to confront the challenges of globalisation? By commenting critically but constructively on Malaysia's public policy issues as they unfold, as well as on the nation's ability to respond to the threats and opportunities of globalisation, Navaratnam warns that Malaysia will fail to attain the goals of Vision 2020 if we do not enhance our competitive edge at a faster pace and improve on the affirmative-action policies.