‘Behavioural Insights can reduce cost’

Asean unity push: Tengku Zafrul speaking with journalists in Jakarta. — Photo taken from Tengku Zafrul’s Facebook page

PETALING JAYA: There is vast potential for policy-making tools such as nudging and Behavioural Insights (BI) to increase the ease of doing business in Malaysia, says International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

He said BI could be used to reduce compliance costs by deploying the optimal level of resources on regulatory or procedural monitoring and enforcement.

“These are key to managing operational costs and maximising profitability.

“As such, nudging and BI can be a reformative step for quality rule-making and efficient regulatory implementation without relying on heavy-handed or coercive measures,” he said in his opening remarks at the National Conference on Behavioural Insights 2023 via Facebook yesterday.

The conference was organised by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC), and several speakers gave their views on BI during the conference.

The MPC is a legal body that is part of MITI. It is in charge of putting BI into public policy.

Since 2020, the MPC has been developing modules and conducting studies, experiments and programmes to establish the application of BI among government institutions.

MPC is spearheading initiatives to drive the adoption of BI in Malaysia for the duration of the 12th Malaysia Plan.

BI is a policy-making tool that combines elements from psychology, social science, and cognitive science, with empirically tested evidence.

It is used as a complementary tool to enhance the government’s services and guide citizens towards making better decisions.

The incorporation of “nudges” such as using plain language, reorganising the information sequence, and emphasising pertinent details effectively reduces the number of errors in the application process and improves regulatory compliance.

At a different event, Tengku Zafrul said that it was important for Asean countries to work together even more to make sure that their interests were not ignored by other countries.

He added that not only was it important for Asean member countries to unite as one, but that each of them had strong strategic cooperation with one another, allowing them to voice their concerns on the international stage.

“This form of strategic cooperation is especially true in terms of ensuring compliance with Asean’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

“We can achieve so much more if we move together and speak out on economic issues related to our common interests,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.

The minister is currently in Jakarta for the 29th Asean Economic Ministers’ (AEM) Retreat.

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Behavioural Insights , costs , business


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