The Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) launched its flagship report titled Envisioning Malaysia 2050: A Foresight Narrative during the ASEAN 2050 Forum on 2 November 2017 at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel. It was officiated by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation YB Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau.

     Envisioning Malaysia 2050: A Foresight Narrative is the culmination of two years of study carried out by ASM as the pioneer of the Malaysian Foresight Alliance to guide Malaysia towards becoming a Progressive Malaysia in the year 2050. The aim of this flagship study is to look at the big picture of the future we desire and share insights and expert knowledge towards building a strategic vision for Malaysia towards 2050.

     The report starts off with a brief review of history, specifically in the Southeast Asian region. It begins the journey with a glimpse into the Malay Archipelago’s prehistoric times, taking note of the progression of mankind in various aspects, especially how rudimentary tools evolved and brought about major changes in how mankind lived. Once we have dipped our toes into the history of Malaysia, the next chapter highlights the trends that impact the world, and also Malaysia.

     The world is what we recognise it today, thanks to various events that create a trend that impacts the whole world. Dubbed Megatrends, it is a visible pattern that massively affects various world arena. What we make of the Megatrends and how we deal with it ultimately determines how we progress into the future. Factors such as demographic and social changes as well as the advent of virtualisation are brought to light, and how they affect the world. Furthermore, factors that have a negative impact on the world such as terrorism and unpredictability of weather and climate are also explained in detail.

     By combining the knowledge of global trends and risks with a study of our historical past, we are able to envision an ideal future devoid of vulnerabilities, followed by strategising steps to move forward and then responding properly to opportunities and threats and prepare to step into a brighter future. A set of nine key drivers were identified based on various studies: how we handle said nine drivers determines the success or downfall of the nation. A Trends and Attributes Map was created based on the nine key drivers. The map is a progression map of Malaysia from present day until 2050, which contains various factors such as megatrends, projections (aspirations of Progressive Malaysia 2050 based on key drivers) and megatrends (emerging patterns that significantly impact political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental arenas globally). It also features threats (events that might jeopardise the Progressive Malaysia 2050 aspiration) and technologies (scientific advancements that help us realise Progressive Malaysia 2050). Policies and initiatives that are in line with Malaysia’s aspiration of becoming a progressive nation in 2050 are also highlighted.

     Based on the ability to harness the nine key drivers, four possible scenarios are given, to depict the possible outcomes of the nation. The four possible scenarios of Malaysia in the future serve to inspire us towards creating a nation that they want, and to make us realise that action must be taken to avoid missteps that will bring Malaysia further away from its aspirations. As such, a set of prescriptions are prepared to assist everyone from all levels of the society to achieve harmony, prosperity and sustainability for the nation.

     With the understanding that the nation’s future is in the hands of its people, we are able to realise that strengths must be leveraged, opportunities must be seized, problems must be solved, threats must be neutralised in order to achieve a Progressive Malaysia in 2050 that is harmonious, prosperous and sustainable.

Click here to download a full-sized image of the Trends and Attributes Map.
The full report of Envisioning Malaysia 2050: A Foresight Narrative can be obtained via this link.
ASM President’s Keynote Address download here.