Malaysia’s Political Economy and Perspectives on Investing in China


Beyond the Headlines


Registration 6:15pm
Presentation 7:00pm
Post-talk Cocktail 8:00pm
Close 8:30pm

In 2018, one of Asia’s most newsworthy political events was Malaysia’s first change of government since independence in 1957.  Since that time, Malaysia has also become Southeast Asia’s second largest economy by Gross Domestic Product as reported by the International Monetary Fund. Earlier in the month, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that the government plans to establish a “special channel” to attract more investments from China, which is already Malaysia’s leading trading partner. As Southeast Asia’s lone political federation, the economic activities with its neighbors, particularly China, involve a complex array of geopolitical, social and policy considerations. The appetite for state-backed investments in China will be explored through these various factors by Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the Government of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund that is responsible for improving the country’s long-term economic prosperity. Opening Remarks will be delivered by Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, Warden of Rhodes House.

Elizabeth kiss

Dr. Elizabeth Kiss (pronounced ‘quiche’) became Warden of Rhodes House and CEO of the Rhodes Trust in August 2018, the first woman to hold this position.  Before joining the Rhodes Trust, she served for twelve years as President of Agnes Scott College. During her tenure, Agnes Scott broke records for enrolment and retention and was named the second ‘Most Diversified College in America’ by Time, the country’s most successful liberal arts college for graduating low-income students by the U.S. Department of Education, and the #1 Most Innovative National Liberal Arts College by U.S. News and World Report.  In December 2017, the Chronicle of Higher Education named Dr. Kiss to its 2017 list of the most influential people in U.S. higher education. From 1997 to 2006, she served as the Founding Director of Duke University’s Kenan Institute for Ethics, building a university wide interdisciplinary center focused on promoting moral reflection and commitment in all facets of life.


Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan (“Shahril”) is the Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Malaysia, entrusted with growing the nation’s long-term wealth via distinct commercial and strategic objectives. With assets under management of about USD35 billion, Khazanah has investments in various sectors such as telecommunications, infrastructure, power, aviation, technology, healthcare, real estate, leisure & tourism, property, amongst others.  Shahril was formerly the CEO of the Employees Provident Fund (“EPF”) of Malaysia, the nation’s largest retirement fund, and prior to that served as its Deputy CEO (Investments). Prior to joining EPF, he was the Managing Director of Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad, where he was responsible for developing Kuala Lumpur Sentral into one of the main commercial centres in Malaysia. He previously served at Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional, where he was involved in corporate recovery and credit restructuring following the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Shahril has a Master of Arts from Cambridge University and a Bachelor of Civil Law from Oxford University and has been called to the Malaysian Bar and the Bar of England & Wales.  

In partnership with:


The Rhodes Trust & Rhodes Scholarships for the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong SAR

This event is sponsored and presented by members of the Rhodes Trust. This charity, based at the University of Oxford, brings together and develops exceptional people from all over the world, and in all fields of study, who are impatient with the way things are and have the courage to act. The Trust awards Rhodes Scholarships to these remarkable people for them to study and to be coached at Oxford. This, in turn, enables these students to join a worldwide fellowship of around 5,000 Scholars. At the moment, there are currently five Chinese Rhodes Scholarships - four for the Chinese mainland and one for Hong Kong SAR which enables twelve and three Scholars respectively from these Rhodes constituencies to study at the University of Oxford at any one time. As part of the 125th Anniversary Strategic Plan, the Rhodes Trust intends to double the number of Scholarships available for both the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong SAR.

Event Details

Thu 12 Dec 2019
6:15 - 8:30 p.m.

Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty

Buy Tickets
$200 Asia Society members/Malaysian Chamber of Commerce; $350 Non-members
Add to Calendar 20191212T101500 20191212T123000 UTC Asia Society: Malaysia’s Political Economy and Perspectives on Investing in China Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty