Microeconomic reform in Malaysia
Countries embark on economic reform when they perceive that by doing so they will be able to remove obstacles impeding economic growth and development. Malaysia is no exception to this. The country has witnessed a number of major economic reforms that have shifted the boundaries between state and market and changed the structure of the economy. In the 1960s, the government embarked on a series of reforms aimed at diversifying the economy away from its heavy dependence on exports of primary commodities towards more export-oriented manufacturing. The 1970s saw significant state intervention in the economy as the government sought to eradicate poverty and redress economic imbalances among ethnic groups. A wave of privatizations and regulatory reforms in the 1980s then rolled back the extent of government intervention in a number of sectors. The Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 was met with macroeconomic policy reform and further liberalization in an attempt to stabilize, then jump-start, the economy.