The Tun Ismail Ali Chair (TIAC) was established by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to enhance academic and pragmatic excellence in the area of monetary and financial economics. On 31 July and 1 August, TIAC organised the second Tun Ismail Ali Challenge at Sasana Kijang, Bank Negara Malaysia. This two-day residential challenge provided a platform for undergraduates to showcase their creative and innovative solutions to pertinent policy issues and familiarise themselves with Malaysia’s policy landscape. To further enrich the policy formulation experience, participants were paired with mentors from amongst economists and analysts at Bank Negara Malaysia.

The theme of the Challenge this year was ‘Cost of Living’. A total of 27 finalists, representing 17 local and foreign universities, were selected from among 80 applicants to participate in the Challenge. The participants provided various policy solutions to address the high cost of living, from improving income growth to addressing the increasing prices of goods and services.

Team Ordinary Least Squares
Team MAW
Kijang UK

A team of undergraduates from Nottingham University and Imperial College, emerged as the champion with their three-pronged proposal aimed at improving housing affordability, controlling food prices, and providing security from income shocks to lower income households.

Team OLS facing a Q&A sessions from judges and the audience

The two runner-ups were teams consisting of undergraduates from the University of Warwick, University of Manchester, Arizona State University, and University of Wisconsin Madison. These teams proposed policies to enhance labour welfare, facilitate digitalisation among SMEs to boost wage growth, reduce food prices and raise incomes in semi-skilled industries.

Governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus dropped by to see the Grand Final and provide some insights to finalists
Judges deliberating on the final winners
Finalists got a rare opportunity to mingle with Governor Nor Shamsiah
The winners of the Tun Ismail Ali Challenge along with Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah binti Mohd Yunus and the judges, Assistant Governor Marzunisham Omar, Dr. Norhana Endut (Director, Monetary Policy Department), Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Norma Mansor (Director, Social Security Research Center) and Prof Dr. Niaz Asadullah (Professor, University of Malaya).