Former Prime Minister and Nobel Laureate speaks on global financial uncertainties

Kuala Lumpur, 12 December 2008-- With The Financial Crisis Now Besetting The World, Two Eminent Personalities Delivered Their Thoughts On Global Financial Uncertainties. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, The Prime Minister Of Malaysia (1981 – 2003), And Professor Dr Robert Engle, The 2003 Nobel Laureate In Economics, Were Speakers At The “Bridges – Dialogues Towards A Culture Of Peace” Programme That Was Organised By Perdana Leadership Foundation, In Collaboration With Perbadanan Putrajaya.

Tun Dr Mahathir, who engineered Malaysia’s unorthodox resolution of the 1997 currency crisis, delivered his thoughts on “The future of Malaysia in light of global financial uncertainties” while Professor Dr. Robert Engle gave his academic perspective on the causes of global financial volatility. Their question and answer session was moderated by Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak, Group CEO of CIMB Group.

During his opening address, Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Hashim, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Perdana Leadership Foundation and Chairman of AmBank Group, gave his own opinion on the crisis, “Never has the world’s economic and financial system come under such close scrutiny as it is today, with people and nations all over the world questioning the validity of a system that allows runaway speculative profits to be made, based virtually on non-asset backed paper trades. The world is paying the price for the greed of some in the financial industry aided by the cloak of non-transparency and a non-regulated environment.”

Held at the Auditorium of Kompleks Perbadanan Putrajaya in Precinct 3 today, the event attracted more than 600 guests, mostly from the corporate sector, including from Bank Negara, Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), CIMB Group, Bursa Malaysia and the Securities Commission. The event is part of of Bridges Malaysia, an international initiative to promote peace through intellectual dialogues and culture, under the aegis of the International Peace Foundation. His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Perak Darul Ridzuan, Raja Nazrin Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah, graced the event as Honorary Chairman of Bridges Malaysia.

Established in the year 2003, PLF is a non-profit organisation dedicated to Malaysia’s leadership history, highlighting in particular the policies, strategies and contributions of Malaysia’s past Prime Ministers. The Foundation preserves, documents and disseminates materials related to the country’s nation-building journey – including speeches, news clippings and magazine articles.

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Biography of YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad was the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia. His 22-year tenure has made him the longest serving Prime Minister. Born on 20 December 1925 in Alor Setar, Kedah, Tun Dr. Mahathir, a medical doctor by profession, became Malaysia's Prime Minister in 1981. He is the architect of Malaysia’s Vision 2020, a blueprint that emphasizes common shared values for the nation, and the initiator of the Multimedia Super Corridor, a technology corridor that now hosts more than 900 local and international tech-based firms.

Tun Dr Mahathir is known for his criticisms of unfettered liberalisation and his warnings of the many iniquities of globalisation. An unorthodox thinker, he went against international advice during the 1997/98 financial crisis to impose selective capital controls, a move much criticised then by the IMF and the international community. Malaysia's subsequent recovery from the crisis vindicated the move, and in 2003, the IMF publicly acknowledged the appropriateness of the action.

Tun Dr. Mahathir ended his premiership on October 31st 2003 on a high-note, that he wanted the country to further her achievements in every aspect: socially, economically, politically, technologically and environmentally.

Biography of Professor Robert Fry Engle III

Professor Robert Fry Engle III is a 2003 Nobel Laureate for Economics and the Michael Armellino Professor of Finance at New York University's Stern School of Business.
In 2003 Professor Engle shared the Nobel Prize for Economics with Professor Clive W.J. Granger from UCSD for developing "methods for analyzing economic time series with time-varying volatility". He conducted much of his prizewinning work in the 1970s and '80s, when he developed improved mathematical techniques for the evaluation and more-accurate forecasting of risk, which enabled researchers to test if and how volatility in one period was related to volatility in another period.

This work had particular relevance in financial market analysis in which the investment returns of an asset were assessed against its risks and in which stock prices and returns could exhibit extreme volatility.

Source : Perdana Leadership Foundation

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