Prestige Magazine, September 2011

PUBLIC SERVICE – Tunku’ Abidin Muhriz, founding president of IDEAS, is an advocate of libertarian ideas.

Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz, together with friends Wan Saiful Wan Jan and Wan Mohd Firdaus Wan Mohd Fuaad, started the Malaysia Think Tank London (MTTL) in 2006. Following its success in London, the trio decided to move the organisation to Malaysia, along the way changing its name to Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) to better reflect the various areas of their work.

“IDEAS is an apolitical organisation that does not support political parties but is based on a foundation of four beliefs: the rule of law, limited government, free market and individual liberty and responsibility.” says Muhriz, founding president of the organisation.

Despite the hectic pace of managing IDEAS, Muhriz finds time to publish his research as well as write articles for some of the country’s largest media. “A high point in my career with IDEAS was the celebration of Malaysia Day in 2010 as well as the original Merdeka party,” he says with pride. “Doing all this was not easy because of lack of funding – we do not accept monetary gifts from the government or political parties, and we earn very little from our ‘allies’ across the globe. This puts us in a less-than-ideal situation but our determination sees us through.

Optimistic and persistent. Muhriz is pleased with the current standing of IDEAS in society and remains hopeful that the ‘centre right’ movement will continue to push its ideals of reform. “Success will be achieved when the politics of this country stop being about race and start focusing on real issues instead.

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