Charles Hay MVO, British High Commissioner to Malaysia
The Malaysian economy is expected shrink by six per cent this year, according to forecasts by the International Monetary Fund. Facing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, the economy is in need of greater fiscal support, but ongoing instability in Malaysian politics has the potential to derail plans for a recovery.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s eight-month old Perikatan Nasional government currently holds a razor-thin majority; during the last parliamentary sitting, just 113 lawmakers out of a total of 222 backed it. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has repeatedly claimed he has a “formidable” majority to oust Muhyiddin but has yet to prove this assertion.
The upcoming 2021 budget vote, originally scheduled for 26 November, is accordingly seen as a test for the incumbent government. Failure to pass it will be tantamount to a no-confidence vote in the government that could trigger a snap election, plunging Malaysia into further political instability. Malaysian King, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, has called on parliamentarians to cease all political quarrels and pass the budget, appealing to the need to safeguard people’s welfare during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking from Kuala Lumpur, Charles Hay, British High Commissioner to Malaysia, will brief Asia House Corporate Members on these key developments, and their implications for UK-Malaysia relations.
Charles Hay was appointed the British High Commissioner to Malaysia in March 2019. Prior to Malaysia, Mr Hay was the British Ambassador to South Korea from 2015 to 2018. During his time in the British diplomatic services, he has been posted to the Czech Republic, Spain and the UK Representation to the EU in Brussels. Mr Hay was also the Director of Consular Services in London, responsible for assisting British nationals and in crisis management worldwide.
To register interest in joining this event, which takes place via Zoom at 8:30 UK time, please email Edward Danks: firstname.lastname@example.org.