About Bait Al Amanah
Founded in 2015, Bait Al Amanah is an independent and neutral research institute that holds the responsibility of conducting studies and research to provide valuable and in-depth insights regarding governance and democracy, economics, security, and issues of national importance. We pride ourselves through sound, independent, and multidisciplinary research and analysis to help improve policy and decision-making processes.
Our main objective has always been to provide valuable insights and disseminate research findings for the benefit of the public.
We accomplish this objective not just through our research and studies, but also by organizing dialogues with leaders, thinkers, academics, and citizens to address key issues faced by Malaysians. Through these dialogues, we discuss ideas and develop new perspectives to come out with solutions.
To develop new perspectives, provide valuable insights and disseminate critical findings for the benefit of the public through our research, studies, and by organizing dialogues with leaders, thinkers, academicians, and citizens to address key issues faced by Malaysians.
DR. ABDUL RAZAK
Dr. Abdul Razak Ahmad is the Founding Director of Bait Al Amanah and has previously served as a Special Advisor to the Chief Minister of Johor and Minister of Higher Education Malaysia. As a consultant for the National Economic Action Council (NEAC) of the Prime Minister’s Department, Dr. Razak contributed to the drafting of the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
On the international front, Dr. Razak has served as a consultant and policy advisor for higher education, democracy and development in Iran, Bahrain, Libya, Tunisia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Timor Leste. He was also the resource person for the European Union and World Bank on human development related issues.
He is a qualified legal counsel and did his fellowship at East West Centre (University of Hawaii). He also attended leadership executive programmes at Said Business School (Oxford University) and Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University).
Benedict Weerasena is the Research Director of Bait Al Amanah (House of Trust). With several publications on politics and public policy, higher education, foreign worker dependency, his research interests include public finance, behavioral economics, development studies, international political economy and education policy. He has participated and presented in various international conferences and economic updates.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Economics degree, first class honours from University Sains Malaysia, he is a recipient of the Conference of Rulers’ Royal Education Award and Gold Medal Award for Best Student in Economics 2015/2016. He previously worked with the National Higher Education Research Institute (IPPTN), researching university autonomy and shadow education. He also enjoys singing, cooking, art & craft and exercising during his free time.
ABEL BENJAMIN LIM
Head of Development Economics
Abel Benjamin Lim is an economic analyst at Bait Al Amanah and is currently the Head of Development Economics Division. His scope of research includes socioeconomics, public policy, and higher education. Previously, he served as an Executive Officer at Commonwealth Tertiary Education Facility under the purview of National Higher Education Research Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Abel graduated with a master’s degree in economics from Universiti Sains Malaysia.
FIKRY A RAHMAN
Head of Foreign Affairs
Fikry A Rahman is the Head of Foreign Affairs at Bait Al-Amanah. He graduated with a Master of Strategy and Diplomacy, UKM-IDFR, focusing on China’s Digital Silk Road in Southeast Asia. Concurrently, he was involved in Princeton University’s Belt and Road research project, led by Professor Jacob N. Shapiro. His research interests include Malaysia’s foreign policy, Southeast Asian regionalism, and international conflicts.
SIMRAATRAJ KAUR DHILLON
Research & Advocacy Analyst
Simraatraj Kaur Dhillon is a research and advocacy analyst at Bait Al-Amanah. Simraat’s academic merit earned her a place at International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), where she is currently undertaking her Bachelor of Laws (LL.B)(Hons). Her research areas at Bait Al-Amanah include migration and refugee issues, law and public policy, politics and international relations. Simraat’s areas of interest include international law, criminal justice, women’s rights and gender equality and human rights.
Research & Advocacy Analyst
Nabiela is an Analyst under the Foreign Affairs Department. She obtained a Bachelor of Economics & Global Studies from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities where she was a recipient of the MARA American Degree Scholarship, and a Master of Strategy & Diplomacy from the IDFR-UKM programme where she was a recipient of MARA Graduate Excellence Program Scholarship. Her concentration area covers the Middle East and Islamic World focusing on issues of Islamic civilization and human rights in international relations.
FARAH ILYANA MOHD ANUAR
Research & Advocacy Analyst
Farah Ilyana is studying Philosophy, Law, and Business at the Universiti Utara Malaysia and she is currently undergoing an internship at Bait Al Amanah. The nature of her multidisciplinary studies has developed a passion for philosophical discussions and critical thinking surrounding social issues.
Research & Advocacy Analyst
Karisma Putera Abd Rahman is currently undergoing an internship at Bait Al Amanah as a Research & Advocacy Analyst. He obtained his Bachelor's of Science (Hons.) in International Political Economy from City, University of London, where he submitted a dissertation titled "The effects of racial politics on the Malaysian political economy". His research interests include public policy, racial politics, and neo-federalism. Karisma plans to pursue a Master's in Public Policy after his internship. In his free time, he enjoys photography and cooking as a creative outlet.
Irwan Sharkawi is an Administrative Executive at Bait Al Amanah. He graduated from Saito College with a Diploma in Security Management and attended practical training at Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) for 3 months. Irwan is responsible for office administrative matters, dealing with statutory bodies and smooth running of day to day operations for the organization.
Nurul Adilla is the Administration Assistant at Bait Al Amanah. She assists the administrative executive with daily business operation tasks. Adila also plays an integral role in supporting office members with documentation, aside from storing, organizing and managing the organization’s resources. She graduated from Cybernetics International College of Technology with a diploma in Human Resource management and has successfully completed 3 months practical training at Bait Al Amanah.
OUR POLICY COMMITMENT
Bait Al Amanah respects human rights and labour rights. We are committed to avoid infringing on the human rights of others and eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation, and is compliant with Malaysia’s labour standards.
Bait Al Amanah is also committed to attaining workforce diversity in the following areas: gender, nationality, culture, individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities.
Bait Al Amanah does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment and discrimination. We will review and update this commitment periodically.
i) Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining
Bait Al Amanah is committed to respecting and upholding the right of all our employees to form and join a trade union of their choice without fear of intimidation or reprisal, in accordance with Malaysia’s Trade Union Act 1959 (Act 262). This freedom to associate involves employers, unions and other workers’ representatives exercising the liberty to freely discuss issues at work in order to reach agreements that are jointly acceptable, in addition to pursuing industrial action in defence of our employees’ economic and social interests. We firmly support the objectives laid out by Target 8.8 of SDG 8 to protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments of all workers, including migrant workers, particularly women migrants, and those in precarious employment.
Moreover, Bait Al Amanah reaffirms our commitment to the right to collective bargaining as a constructive platform for addressing working conditions, terms of employment and relations between employers and employees. We support the importance of collective bargaining in addressing any needs or interests of our management and employees, including restructuring and training, redundancy procedures, safety and health issues, grievance and dispute settlement procedures, disciplinary rules, and family and community welfare among others. This commitment is founded upon the principle of good faith, in pursuit of genuine and constructive negotiations to reach an agreement between parties.
We at Bait Al Amanah are committed to upholding non-discriminatory policies and procedures with respect to trade union organisation, union membership and activity in such areas including applications for employment and decisions on advancement, dismissal or transfer. We believe that our employees should be allowed to exercise their freedom of association in a climate free of violence, pressure, fear and threats.
ii) Forced Labour
Bait Al Amanah reaffirms our strong support for the prohibition of slavery and forced labour, in accordance with fundamental liberties enshrined in the Constitution of Malaysia. We are committed to never use, be complicit in, or benefit from forced labour. As a clear violation of fundamental human rights, we strongly believe that forced labour deprives societies of the opportunity to develop skill sets and human capital development. We strongly believe in the need to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking, as stated in Target 8.7 of SDG 8.
Hence, we reaffirm our commitment to providing employment contracts to all employees stating the terms and conditions of service, the voluntary nature of employment, the freedom to leave including the appropriate procedures and any penalties that may be associated with a departure or cessation of work. In addition, we are committed to only conduct business collaborations and subcontracting arrangements with other parties who have a commitment against forced labour and slavery.
iii) Child Labour
Bait Al Amanah has zero-tolerance for child labour, in accordance with Malaysia’s Children and Young Persons (Employment) Act 1966 (Act 350) and Article 3 of ILO Convention No. 182. We are strongly against work that deprives children of their childhood, educational opportunities, avenues to develop their potential and uphold their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development. We are gravely concerned that child labour results in under-skilled, unqualified workers and jeopardizes future improvements of skills in the workforce.
In line with this, we support the objectives laid out by Target 8.7 of SDG 8 to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms. In addition, we strongly support the objectives laid out by by Target 16.2 of SDG 16 to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children. Bait Al Amanah is also committed to adhering to minimum age provisions of national labour laws and regulations in our internal hiring procedures. We also seek to go the second mile by exercising our influence on business partners, subcontractors, suppliers and other business affiliates to combat child labour together.
iv) Non-discrimination in respect of employment and occupation
Bait Al Amanah is committed to providing a safe and respectful environment for all employees, clients, contractors, and visitors without consideration of perceived differences in accordance with the ILO Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention of 1958 and Goals 8 and 10 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We are strongly against the discrimination of employees on the basis of individual characteristics as it is a violation of fundamental human rights and liberties. Freedom from discrimination is a fundamental human right and is essential for workers to choose their employment freely, to develop their potential to the full and to reap rewards on the basis of merit. We are deeply concerned that discrimination at work continues to be a major problem, diminishing the dignity and subsequent efficiency of employees in Malaysia and around the world.
In line with this, Bait Al Amanah supports the objectives laid out by Target 8.8 of SDG 8 to protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments of all workers. Additionally, we firmly support the objectives laid out by Target 10.3 of SDG 10 to ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including through eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and actions in this regard. We also seek to go the extra mile by advocating our views of non-discrimination on our business partners, subcontractors, suppliers and other business affiliates to eliminate workplace discrimination together.
Bait Al Amanah aims to promote an atmosphere of unity and just treatment in the workplace. Hence, It is the policy of Bait Al Amanah to ensure equal opportunity and treatment without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, colour, gender, disability, marital status, religion, financial status, political opinion, national extraction, social origin or any other characteristic protected by law or otherwise in respect of employment and occupation.
v) Occupational safety and health
Bait Al Amanah is committed to upholding high standards of occupational safety and health in the workplace, in accordance with ILO Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Convention of 1981, OSH Convention of 1985, the OSH Recommendation of 2006, and Goals 8 and 16 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We firmly believe that OSH is a top priority of any organization, including our own. The safety and health of our employees is paramount to the success of Bait Al Amanah. We are deeply concerned about the prevalent disregard of OSH policies within organizations and businesses in Malaysia and abroad. We believe that a disregard of OSH amounts to a disregard of human rights as a whole.
In line with this, Bait Al Amanah supports the objectives laid out by Target 8.8 of SDG 8 to protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers. Moreover, we also support the objectives laid out by Target 16.6 of SDG 16 that seeks to develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels. Furthermore, we extend and advocate our firm belief in effective OSH policy to business partners, subcontractors, suppliers and other business affiliates to improve OSH for employees as a whole.
Bait Al Amanah recognises that employee health is a major determinant of productivity. A vicious cycle of poor health, reduced working capacity, and low productivity will undoubtedly hinder the efficiency of employees and the organization as a whole. Thus, Bait Al Amanah is committed to ensure a satisfactory assessment of OSH through the following systems and practices:
Ensuring all operations comply with applicable legal requirements. We must ensure that an effective Occupational Safety and Health Plan that addresses the risk in our areas of control is prepared, approved, and implemented whilst ensuring employees comply with the requirements of this policy and plan.
Maintaining relevant safe work systems, procedures, information, safety programs, facilities, and organizational responsibility to support and communicate effective safety and health practices throughout the organization.
Effectively disseminating OSH policy and information to all employees, contractors, and interested parties.
Ensuring continuous improvement by establishing clear targets and objectives to improve OSH in the workplace.
Promoting and maintaining a positive safety and health culture through encouraging active participation, consultation, and cooperation of all employees, contractors, visitors, and interested parties in developing measures to improve safety and health at work.
i) Rights of women and/or girls
Bait Al Amanah believes in instilling a culture of gender equality that includes more than merely adhering to legal obligations, but also encouraging respectful attitudes, customs, behaviours, and attitudes toward women and/or girls. In line with SDG 10, we believe that the starting point to overcome discrimination is the right to equal treament of women and/or girls in the workplace. Hence, we are committed to understand and address the inequalities that arise from workplace policy due to the different roles of men and women and the unequal power relationships between them.
Keeping in mind that discrimination accentuates inequality, we are committed to understand how organization’s systems such as policy, plans, programmes, services and communication can cause or lead to discriminatory effects or may reinforce harmful gender stereotypes. Furthermore, Bait Al Amanah strongly advocates to create a safe space for women/and or girls at the workplace to develop their potential to the full and receive economic advantages based on merit.
Bait Al Amanah aims to promote women’s participation and provide equal career opportunities and challenge gender stereotypes and roles and thinking critically about our workplace structures that might reinforce gender inequality that needs to be altered or amended. Moving forward, Bait Al Amanah is committed to create a workspace environment that rejects sexism and discriminatory attitudes, as well as tackle organizational policies that devalue, exclude or marginalize women and consciously advocate for the increase of women leaders.
ii) Rights of refugees and migrants
Bait Al Amanah is committed to honour the international humanitarian commitments and to upload the safety and dignity of refugees and migrants. We believe refugees and migrants should have fundamental civil rights, especially as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. All refugees and migrants are entitled to the same international human rights as other citizens regardless of their status. With that, we respect, protect and fulfil their human rights as such:
Prevent human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, torture or collective expulsion of refugees and migrants.
Conforming to regulations set for recruitment and protecting migrants from violence and abuse.
Taking measures to ensure the realisation of human rights without withholding access to healthcare, knowledge building and other social services.
Bait Al Amanah is also committed to the principles of human rights for equality and non-discrimination. This principle prohibits exclusion, distinction, restriction or preference with respect to race, ethnic origin, descent, colour, gender, disability, nationality, migration or residence status or other status. The other principle emphasizes on participation and inclusion. This principle entitles everyone to active, free and meaningful participation in decisions pertaining to the enjoyment of their rights, including the right to access information and make decision processes that affect their lives and wellbeing.
i) Climate Action
Based on the need to reimagine a better future, Bait Al Amanah is committed to upholding climate action by taking urgent steps to combat climate change and its adverse impacts. In line with the objectives laid out in SDG 13, we commit to integrating climate change measures into our company’s policies and planning, including our day-to-day operations. Moreover, we are committed to caring for the environment in our operations, grounded in principles of sustainable development which include economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity.
As a climate-conscious think tank, we also seek to enhance education and raise awareness among the general public on climate change mitigation, adaptation and impact reduction in accordance with Target 13.3 of SDG 13. We are continuously advocating for sustainable initiatives through our articles, publications and events such as the 3-tier electric vehicle policy report, report on scheduled waste and ESG investment articles. Looking forward, we reaffirm our commitment to providing expert advice and evidence-based policy recommendations in our ambition to promote greater environmental responsibility both locally and in the wider region.
ii) Energy & Resource Use
Bait Al Amanah recognizes that energy consumption is a globally valuable resource that is essential to development and growth in all sectors. We recognize the time-sensitive challenges that arise as part of climate change caused by global warming. In line with Goals 7 and 12 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Bait Al Amanah is committed to fulfilling its responsibilities as a climate-conscious think tank that prioritises resource efficiency. We are deeply concerned regarding the inaction of organisations in Malaysia and around the world in pursuing energy and resource efficiency. Sectors across borders must join hands to relieve this problem - beginning with our own.
Bait Al Amanah supports the objectives laid by Target 7.3 of SDG 7 to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. Furthermore, we also support the objectives laid by Target 12.2 of SDG 12 that seeks to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources. We recognize that these targets are mostly responsibilities of governments. However, Bait Al Amanah is a strong believer in advocacy. Before we can convince others, we must begin advocating these targets internally.
Bait Al Amanah, in line with our commitments above, will seek to both promote the efficient use of energy and resources in our operations and to advocate these views in our project collaborations with business partners, subcontractors, suppliers and other business affiliates in order to make a maximum impact on change.
In line with this, Bait Al Amanah seeks to ensure efficient energy and resource usage through the following practices:
Encourage continuous, conscious energy efficiency improvement by employees in their work and personal activities.
Advocating, where possible, for public policy that is climate-conscious and maintains energy and resource efficiency as a central tenet.
Cooperate, when feasible, with governmental agencies, utility companies and other organisations on energy programs and comply with all legal requirements relating to energy and resource use, consumption, and efficiency.