Connecting Government, Business and Civil Society towards the Development of High Income Nation

This third annual international conference organized by the Nation Building Institute International and Nation Building Institute Malaysia, brought together  policymakers, thought leaders and advocates representing governments, businesses and the people to deliberate on various pressing issues that impact economic, political and social development pertaining to nation-building.

QI Group’s Director of International and Public Affairs, Mr Vijay Poonoosamy, was the moderator for the high profile panel entitled “Why Addressing Inequality Matters for Nation Building”.  The panel comprised of luminaries such as Dr. Bhokin Bhalakula, former Deputy Prime Minister and former President of the Parliament of Thailand, Tan Sri Sulaiman Mahbob, former Chairman of Telekom Malaysia, Dato’ Chevy Beh, Founder of BookDoc, Mr. Tian Chua, the Director of Malaysia Productivity Corporation and Mr Stanley Loh, CEO of World Capacity Builders, Canada.

In his Opening Remarks Mr Poonoosamy stated that:

“Nation Building requires a sense of belonging and a sense of pride, both of which cannot be instilled amidst exclusions, discriminations, inequities, injustices and inequalities. These social ills become toxic when mixed with corruption, bad governance, anti-democratic values and an absence of morally guided leadership in the public and private sectors.

Even though the national chain can never be stronger than its weakest link the prevailing logic of the past four decades has been that stronger economic growth serves as the greatest antidote to inequality because an increase of the size of the pie means everyone has a bigger slice. This logic has simply added insult to injury and poured fuel on the fire as the report released by Oxfam earlier this year showed that the world’s 26 richest billionaires own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of the planet’s population.”

Addressing inequalities is a critical element in the process of nation-building. There are economical and political costs if inequalities are left unaddressed and social conflict may continue to rise and impede efforts to build and strengthen the nation. The panellists discussed potential solutions to mitigate inequality and how different countries can learn from each other’s successful programme implementations.

Mr Vijay Poonoosamy, QI Group’s Director of International and Public Affairs with Dato Dr. Jessie Tang, Chairwoman of Nation-Building Institute, Malaysia and Prof. Dr Kriengsak Chareonwongsak, Chairman of Nation-Building Institute International.


By way of conclusion of his panel Mr Poonoosamy stated that:

“The fight against inequality is a fight for integrity which must be fought concurrently on many confronts. It is a fight worth fighting because it is both economically counterproductive and socially unsustainable for the few to exclude the many.

As a community of linked interests, Governments, businesses and civil society need each other and depend on each other. They must work together for the development of not only a high-income nation but must also focus on the development of a just, caring, progressive, sustainable, virtuous and happy Nation.”

A delegation from the QI Group was present at the eye-opening conference and engaged with multi-key stakeholders to exchange knowledge and ideas that can contribute towards sustainability.