With the Eleventh Malaysia Plan, 2016-2020, coming to the end of its cycle, and with it closing the chapter on Vision 2020, the dawn of a new development era beckons with the Twelfth Malaysia Plan, 2021-2025, to pave the way for the post-2020 period. The Twelfth Plan will be the first of two Malaysia Plans to operationalise the efforts towards achieving the goals of the Shared Prosperity Initiative, recently announced by the Government. While the goal of becoming a developed, dynamic and prosperous country remains, it needs to be augmented with the need to ensure that the benefits of growth are continuously shared and distributed fairly in a sustainable manner, ultimately leading to a decent standard of living for all Malaysians, irrespective of income group, ethnicity and geography.

In this spirit, the Twelfth Plan will identify the policies and strategies as well as initiatives and programmes that need to be undertaken. The current as well as emerging challenges and global trends will be taken into account in formulating the policies and strategies under the upcoming Plan. At the same time, new policy tools and valuable lessons gained from the experience of key development partners will be leveraged.

The Government, through the Economic Planning Unit, collaborated closely with the United Nations Country Team in Malaysia and the World Bank to co-host the Twelfth Malaysia Plan Kick-Off Conference from 1–4 July 2019 at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel. The Conference gathered various experts and stakeholders from ministries, state agencies, non-government organisations and public higher learning institutions as well as international experts from foreign governments and international multilateral organisations, to facilitate the sharing and exchange of views and insights in the effort to solicit new ideas for key issues and challenges under four broad themes.

The broad themes of the Conference, namely Economic Empowerment, Environmental Sustainability and Social Re-engineering as well as new Policy Tools, were covered over four days in the form of panel discussions, presentations and keynote addresses by prominent speakers in their respective areas of expertise.

This Conference is the first of several engagements with experts and all stakeholders in the process of formulating the Twelfth Plan. It continued the long-held practice of extensive engagement with all segments of society to ensure that all views and concerns of stakeholders are taken into account, new ideas are explored and policy initiatives remain rakyat-centric.

The Economic Planning Unit received valuable support and contribution from the United Nations Country Team in Malaysia and the World Bank Group’s Knowledge & Research Hub in Malaysia in co-organising the Kick-Off Conference of the Twelfth Malaysia Plan. The Asian Development Bank also contributed their expertise for this Conference.