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Sultan Nazrin launches new book on Malaysia's inclusive development

TheEdge Mon, Jul 15, 2019 10:15am - 1 month ago


KUALA LUMPUR: Sultan Nazrin Shah, the Sultan of Perak, yesterday launched his new book, Striving for Inclusive Development: From Pangkor to a Modern Malaysian State, which looks into Malaysia’s economic and social transformation over the past 150 years.

The hardcover book, with over 500 pages over 10 chapters, traces Malaysia’s growth since the Pangkor Treaty of 1874, when it was just a colonial trading outpost, to the diversified economy that it enjoys today, thanks to the collective contribution of its various communities.

Published by Oxford University Press, the book — which Sultan Nazrin said had taken him almost two decades to write — is his second after Charting the Economy: Early 20th Century Malaya and Contemporary Malaysia, which was released in 2017.

Research for the book had taken much of his time, so much so that his family had once listed him as “missing in action”, Sultan Nazrin quipped in his speech.

Among those present at the launch were economist Professor Emeritus Peter Drake and University of Cambridge’s Centre of Development Studies director Dr Chang Ha-joon, who shared their thoughts on the book after having been among the first to read it.

Drake said the book confirmed Sultan Nazrin’s “rare ability” to collect, assemble and master considerable data into “a most readable account”.

“This magnificent book — and there is no other word for it — is the most substantial and authoritative contribution to the economic history of Malaysia. I have not seen anything better. I congratulate the author, His Royal Highness, most warmly,” Drake told the guests.

Chang said the book has “something for everyone”, adding that those keen on economics can also refer to the data referenced in it, which provides a narrative that is clear to understand.

“In terms of future lessons, the most important thing that my eyes saw was the emphasis in the book that institutions and policies need to change according to changes in circumstances,” he shared.

Professor Jeffrey D Sachs of Columbia University also commended Sultan Nazrin for the book. “With remarkable historical knowledge, technical precision, and comprehensive and judicious exploration of data, Sultan Nazrin Shah tells the fascinating story of a country that emerged from the imbalances and inequalities of the colonial era to face head-on the challenges of forging a modern, multi-ethnic and inclusive society,” the American economist said in a statement.








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