Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Malaysian born US economist recruited as Penang advisor

Read this in the Star a few days ago. Dr Woo Wing Thye, currently at the Brookings Institution, a Washington DC based think tank, as well as a tenured economics professor at the University of California at Davis, has been recruited as a member of a new think tank set up by the DAP led Penang state government.

His CV is certainly impressive. He graduated from Swarthmore, a liberal arts college in Philadelphia, got an MA from Yale and then an MA and a PhD from Harvard. He's published numerous articles in peer review journals including a few articles with Jeffrey Sachs, someone which I've brought up a few times in this blog. He's also advised the US treasury, the IMF and the World Bank. Interesting, he was appointed as a member of the International Advisory Panel to the Prime Minister of Malaysia in 2005. Hopefully, he will play a complementary role to many of the other academics and specialists who are and will contribute their services to the new state government in Penang.

A friend of mine suggested that the new Penang state government hold a Penang 'diaspora' seminar / gathering for all those Penangites who have left the country but are now willing to contribute to building Penang up once again now that it is under opposition hands. My sense is that many of these individuals would have had concerns working for or with a BN led government because of the perception of corruption and human rights abuses often linked with the BN government. I certainly hope that many formerly disillusioned Penangites will step up to the plate and bring about positive changes to the 'Pearl of the Orient' state.

10 comments:

Shawn Tan said...

hahaha!! funny.. why penang only?? all malaysians working/living overseas who are willing, should be encouraged to do so regardless of which state they were from..

Andrew said...

kian ming he's a swattie! i.e. from swarthmore.

Anonymous said...

WOW !!! Let's hope this is just the beginning of many more returning Malaysians.

Very good news indeed

Zyberidz Photography said...

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ikanbilis said...

someone will finally brush up the pearl!

Charis Quay said...

This does seem like good news. :-) I wonder if he's coming back or just advising from a distance? Both would be helpful of course but it's easier to see/do things when one is actually there. I note in his bio that already 'In July 2005, he was appointed to the International Advisory Panel to the Prime Minister of Malaysia.'

And yes...why Penangites only? :-P

San said...

New Cabinet:



Prime Minister - Anwar

Deputy Prime Minister - Lim Kit Siang

Culture Minister - Farish Noor

Defence Minister -

Education Minister - Nga Kor Ming

Environment Minister - Teresa Kok

Finance Minister - Tony Pua

Foreign Minister - Ramasamy

Health Minister - Tan Seng Giaw

Home Minister -

Information Minister - Jeff Ooi

Law Minister - Teng Chang Khim

Manpower Minister -

Sports Minister -

Technology Minister -

Trade Minister - Khalid

Transport Minister - Liew Chin Tong

(Penang Chief Minister - Lim Guan Eng)

Anonymous said...

At least we know why he is asked to come back to help. The newspapers did publish a bit about the achievement of this guy. We should do likewise for our local Vice Chancellors (especially Nordin Kardi the intellectual!) and others in high posts.

Parvinder Kler said...

He advised the IMF and World Bank....careful, let's find out what he said....if he said let's open our Macroeconomics textbook and impose neo-liberal market ideologies on country X and Y without looking at their unique situations then we might as well stick with our current mob....

There are distinguised people and then there are distinguished people-we have many datuks too who became so because they kissed arse. Some too can climb up the academic ladder by reinforcing the ideas of the status quo.

Anyway, just bitching, but let's not be overly overwhelmed by where people got their qualifications from-let's see the results, and I'll admit he has both. Just let's play down the former and concentrate more on the latter-GW Bush also went to an Ivy League uni you know, as did Khairy...

Anonymous said...

When will people learn...Ivy League refers to 9 specific US universities; Ivy-plus refers to them plus MIT and Stanford. Oxbridge are NOT ivies, whatever they might be.