The Centre is a research organisation dedicated to centrist views in the Malaysian context. The core team members come from diverse backgrounds but all share a commitment to the values of non-partisanship, compassion and pragmatism.

We aim to communicate our research and views in a digestible manner for the benefit of all. In the same vein, we aim to have more than 50% of our output in Bahasa Malaysia.

What is centrism in the Malaysian context?

In the context of economics in Malaysia, centrism would involve questioning the balance between free markets and government regulations to deliver desired socioeconomic outcomes such as employment, decent incomes, affordable housing, environmental sustainability amongst others.

Concerning the social dimension, centrism believes in respecting individual liberty but balances it against the responsibilities of being part of a diverse society. With Malaysia’s unique demographics and history, centrism here attempts to find the workable balance between the expectations of all communities and the realities of managing a stable multi-ethnic nation.

Why centrism?

We believe that our nation was forged with a centrist foundation. And we are now at a special juncture in our democracy where more than ever before, Malaysians are engaging in policy questions and taking their leaders to account.

To this vibrant mix we add our call to centrism, where problems and potential solutions are discussed with reason, pragmatism and a full appreciation of the evolving state of Malaysia today.

Meet the Team

Core Members

Khairy Jamaluddin


Khairy Jamaluddin is a former Minister of Youth and Sports for Malaysia. He is the MP for Rembau since 2008.

Khairy has worked in investment banking as well as the civil service. He was a former Chairman of the National Entrepreneurs Development Corporation (PUNB). He is now the Chief Executive Officer of a fintech company.

Khairy has a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory from University College London and a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) from Oxford University. He was also a Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.

Shahril Hamdan


Shahril Hamdan became interested in economics and philosophy while still a teenager, absorbing materials in school and later at university where he obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Manchester and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.

In his career, Shahril has had experience in the political, social and private sectors, which has provided him with a unique perspective in issues related to nation-building.

Shahril was a consultant with an international firm before going on to manage an oil and gas services firm. He was also involved with an education NGO. He is currently a partner in an investment firm with a focus on tech start-ups.

Shahril is the Deputy Head of Umno Youth. He is also a football, cricket and music fan.

Dr. Idlan Rabihah Zakaria

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Idlan Zakaria is on secondment from the University of Birmingham where she is senior lecturer in financial accounting. She brings over a decade of academic and research experience to The Centre.

Idlan graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from Lincoln University, New Zealand, a master’s degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Lancaster and a PhD in Accounting and Finance also from the University of Lancaster.

Her thesis explored the issue of perverse incentives in corporate governance. Apart from corporate governance issues, Idlan is also interested in issues of social mobility particularly in the context of higher education.

After completing her PhD, Idlan worked as a lecturer in accounting at the University of Essex.

Idlan also holds a Level 1 Football Coaching License from England FA; she would love to see women’s football grow in Malaysia.