Malaysia intends to adopt horizon scanning to tackle the challenges of the future.

The Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit and the Civil Service Delivery Unit of the Economic Planning Unit of Malaysia are working together to train government officials in scenario planning and foresight capabilities, reported the New Straits Times.

Agencies will come up with ways to address possible future scenarios – and by doing so, they can prepare for volatile and uncertain environments in the long-term, the report said. In scenario planning, officials will require critical thinking and creative abilities, and will move away from conventional thinking methods.

The government hopes that this will prepare Malaysia for what lies ahead, as the country puts long-term strategies in place to achieve Transformasi Nasional 2050, an initiative to plan for Malaysia in 2050.

Horizon scanning is proving to be a valuable tool for countries to boost their resilience and risk aversion. Singapore, for example, has built dedicated horizon scanning units in government agencies that assess future trends and then shape policies accordingly.

These units anticipate “uncertainties” such as a recession, and manage “predetermined elements” such as changing labour markets or technological shifts, explained Aaron Maniam, Director of Industry Division at Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.

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