Australian and Malaysian Approaches to Public Policy: Same Same, but Different
This paper compares and contrasts Australian and Malaysian approaches to public policy. The research focused around three key questions: what are the key differences in the approach used by policy-makers in Australia and Malaysia? Why are there such differences in approach between Australia and Malaysia? And how can Australia and Malaysia better understand their approaches to public policy? The research draws from a range of fields including public policy, cultural studies and Asian studies. The research methodology included analysis of key government publications, ministerial speeches, and other official documents as well as interviews with senior government officials and other opinion leaders. This methodology rendered an overall perspective of public policy approach, rather than focusing on the public policy outcome itself. The findings demonstrate that, although Australia and Malaysia share similar government frameworks and similar policy goals, the approach used to develop and achieve these policy goals are unequivocally different. Specific differences in approach include at what level policy is developed (low level in Australia and high level in Malaysia), the most important factors in developing policy (response to community demands in Australia and economic development in Malaysia), and other important considerations in the policy development process (for example religion in Malaysia). This paper is relevant to policy makers who often work cross-culturally as it formally conceptualizes differences in perspective when making cooperative policy.
Keywords: Public Policy, Malaysia, Australia, Governance
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