The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs ( were our partners in Malaysia.   Up to 31 March 2011, they organised 5 seminars in Malaysia at 5 different universities. The total number of participants is 787.

They have also participated in various student seminars and conferences organised by others, including by offering to run breakout sessions by using the CD as reference material.  Approximately 3000 CDs were distributed in Malaysia and Indonesia  in under two years.

Wan Saiful Chief Executive of IDEAS reported the project.

The reception to the CD has been very positive. Students doing economics-related courses particularly like the content of the CD because it means they do not have to spend a huge amount of money to buy separate books to obtain the reference material for their courses.

But the CD proved popular among students who are not reading economics-related subjects too. In fact, even non-students have also been eager to receive the CD. The reasons are rather straight-forward actually. The CD contains literature that are not easily available in this region, and the CD format makes it very easy to keep (compared to heavy books).

When conducting the seminars / events, we found that it is important to tell the audience what is in the CD and to urge them to refer to it. Otherwise, they may not realise what the CD offers and thought that it is just another “marketing material”. We solved this challenge by ensuring speakers refer to the CD content in their presentations.

One weakness of the current project is that it is “one-off” in nature. At all the universities we went to, we always find that some students are more eager to learn than others. And they are keen to participate in future seminars. Unfortunately we are unable to offer that at the moment, other than to invite them to attend our other events which may or may not discuss the CD content directly.

Proposal for the future

Therefore, to ensure continuity and to ensure we can keep interested students engaged, if we have the opportunity to run the project again we will incorporate a residential course as part of the project. This will ensure we can say that the whole series culminates in a 4 day residential course that will discuss and debate “Ideas for a Free Society” in greater depth. The residential course can follow the same format as the various summer schools (eg: Cato University), but will be designed to explore the texts in the CD in each.

The 5 student seminars held between January to March in 5 different universities to distribute the Ideas for Free Society CD were branded as one series. The launch event for the whole series was on 25 January, at the National University of Malaysia. It was officiated by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education.

University Venue Time & Date Speakers Students
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University Malaysia) 

Official launch of the whole series.

Senate Hall, 8.30am – 12.30pm25 Jan 2011 Hon Dato Saifuddin Abdullah (Deputy Minister of Higher Education)Official Opening Speech to launch the whole series.


Amin Ahmad (Fellow at IDEAS)

Free Market & High Income Economy


Dr Ong Kian Ming (Lecturer at UCSI University)

Greed is Good, Competition is even better


Dr Madeline Berma (Lecturer at UKM)

How About the Poor?


Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) DKEP 1, Faculty of Economics & Management, UPM  2pm – 4pm23 Feb 2011


Amin Ahmad (Fellow at IDEAS)Free Market & Poverty 219
International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) Lecture Theatre 1, Kulliyah of Economics & Management Science, IIUM 8pm – 10pm16 March 2011 Amin Ahmad (Fellow at IDEAS)Islam & Free Market


Dr Ong Kian Ming (Lecturer at UCSI University)

Greed is Good, Competition is even better


Dr Omar H. Altalib (Sociologist at IIUM)

Islamic Civilization & Promotion of Liberty




At the  “Malaysian Student Leaders Summit”, organised by “United Kingdom Malaysian Students Council” but held in Kuala Lumpur and opened to all Malaysian students CDs were distributed to participants and the texts on them formed the basis of the breakout sessions which were run by IDEAS.

It was held at Nikko Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, over two days on 31 July and 1 August 2010 and was attended by over 500 students.

Posted in Countries, Malaysia.

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