MASA’s Land Reclamation Mega Project Concerns Get Mention in UNHRC



31st DECEMBER 2023


KUALA LUMPUR, Sat. – A report by Institut Masa Depan Malaysia’s (MASA) that meticulously assessed the multifaceted impacts of the Penang South Reclamation Project on the economic, social and cultural rights of the coastal communities received a mention in the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Stakeholder Information Report for Malaysia’s 4th Cycle Universal Periodic Review, recently.

MASA’s report not only captured the essence of the communities’ challenges but also highlighted their rights within the broader discourse on developmental initiatives. It becomes the first think-tank in this country to have submitted such a report.

Under Point 113 of the UNHRC’s report “Development, Environment, Business and Human Rights”, MASA’s concerns about the impacts of the land reclamation megaproject and the lack of public consultation in the Penang state government’s decision-making process pertaining to the project, were highlighted.

Such recognition and incorporation into the UNHRC’s Stakeholder Information Report signifies MASA’s pivotal role in influencing policy discussions and advocating for inclusive decision-making processes on a global platform.

This recognition marks a promising beginning and serves as an encouragement and inspiration for MASA aspiring young research analysts. It stands as a testament to the power of impactful research in advancing the understanding and protection of economic, social and cultural rights of communities in Malaysia.

Encouraging our budding talents to delve deeper into these realms of innovation will, undoubtedly, yield more impactful insights that can shape policies and safeguard the rights of communities.

Such an effort calls for an amplified commitment in expanding MASA’s presence and influence in international forums and events. It is imperative that our perspectives and insights, anchored in the principles of Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, are not only heard but actively considered in global discussions on Malaysia’s economic development.

Strengthening our involvement in these platforms will facilitate the integration of our forward-thinking ideas into broader discourse, fostering a more inclusive and equitable approach for sustainable development.

Reflecting on this year’s unprecedented challenges and achievements, there is no doubt that MASA stands out as a new think-tank that produces impactful policy-related research outputs and strategic collaborations. Our achievements are testaments of our commitment to excellence as evidenced by the multitude of impactful events, cutting-edge research endeavours and strategic partnerships that have marked our journey.

The year 2023 commenced with a thought-provoking dialogue session titled “Governing Diversity, Multicultural Societies, And Faith: A Conversation” featuring eminent Dr. Hisham A. Hellyer – a session that emphasized on the needs for cultural understanding and social cohesion.

MASA continued to spearhead impactful engagements by holding various events such as a pilot survey in Sabak Bernam, Selangor, an annual retreat designed to foster team cohesion and strategic planning and webinars involving key industry players and academicians to address pertinent economic issues, aligned with the 2023 Budget.

Furthering our commitment to youth empowerment and understanding societal dynamics, MASA played its role at the ASEAN Youth Economic Forum (AYEF) public forum and conducted extensive studies on post-election dynamics in Selangor. These endeavours were instrumental in navigating the evolving socio-political landscape and fostering inclusive policies.

MASA’s dedication to fostering collaborations was underscored by the signing of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with several esteemed institutions. The partnerships established with the ASEAN Youth Organization (AYO), Centre for Policy Research and International Studies (CenPRIS) of Universiti Sains Malaysia, and Indonesia Strategist, strengthened knowledge exchange and collective efforts toward addressing regional challenges.

At the core of MASA’s 2023 endeavours lay its commitment to research initiatives. The “Geran Penyelidikan Program Pembangunan Dasar MASA (MPDP) 2.0”, comprising 27 pioneering research projects, served as a testament to our dedication in tackling pressing societal issues.

These projects spanned across diverse realms such as climate change policy, sustainable development, socio-economic challenges and policy enhancements. Noteworthy projects included comprehensive studies on climate change policy strategies, sustainable decarbonization approaches for industries and assessments of energy-saving policies’ impacts on Malaysian residents.

Universiti Malaya’s Dr. Maria Mohd Ismail’s research on “Food Security Resiliency: Building A Sustainable Food Security – Land Use Framework” and Associate Professor of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Dr. Siti Hafsyah Idris’s work on “Eco-Anxiety and Climate Change: Policy Brief” were among the many outstanding research initiatives, undertaken.

As we turn the page to 2024, the global landscape remains uncertain, laden with economic fluctuations, geopolitical complexities and environmental concerns. However, we, at MASA, will remain steadfast in our commitment to navigating these challenges.

Our accomplishments this year stand as testaments to the dedication and perseverance of our team. Our heartfelt gratitude to our staff, partners and collaborators for their unwavering support and commitment.

As 2024 closes in, we stand resolute in our mission to drive positive change and innovation. Together, let us forge ahead with resilience, creativity and unwavering dedication to shaping a brighter future for Malaysia.

Let us unite in prayer, beseeching the Almighty Allah’s guidance, wisdom and benevolence upon our organisation. May our efforts be guided by compassion, foresight and steadfast commitment for prosperity and well-being of our nation and its people.



Chief Executive Officer

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