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Publication date: 28 September 2020

Rushdi Abdul Rahim, Azmil Mohd Amin and Norsam Tasli Mohd Razali

The purpose of this paper is to explore the application of scenarios, as part of foresight process in the attempt to anticipate and understand the future vulnerabilities…



The purpose of this paper is to explore the application of scenarios, as part of foresight process in the attempt to anticipate and understand the future vulnerabilities, trends and challenges for macro planning process.


The use of multidisciplinary knowledge, tools and methodologies with the aim of finding new solutions to the grand challenges faced by government have gained popularity in the Malaysian public sector. One of the tools gaining prominence is the use of scenario planning, where it has been widely used by both the public and private sectors to manage risk and develop robust strategic plans in face of uncertain future. The method is extensively applied by many corporations and multinationals particularly among international oil and gas organisations. In the public sector, scenarios have been effectively used in many areas and discipline to provide a broad and deep understanding and inclusive approach in formulation and development of policies.


This paper described the use of scenarios to understand the present and future of anti-corruption, as well as anticipate emerging areas of corruption, both within the government and its ecosystem. This led to the formulation of the national level policy on anti-corruption.

Research limitations/implications

The National Anti-Corruption Plan is an open and living document that will be continuously reviewed throughout its five years implementation duration. It is the reference document for ministries, agencies and governments-linked companies in Malaysia to develop their own Organisational Anti-Corruption Plan. Therefore, the document will be a strategic document for the Government of Malaysia to materialise their anti-corruption effort as a strategic conversation engagement with stakeholders that will provide new insights to the scenarios developed.

Practical implications

Often, policymakers begin the process of policy formulation through the identification of the problem statement, with hypothesis developed for the subject matter by project owners and stakeholders. Upon understanding the problems, efforts will then be made to identify solutions or strategies through deliberation by stakeholders. However, this direct approach may produce gaps and lack the required future robustness. The use of scenarios will ensure inclusiveness of approach, taking into consideration all present challenges, anticipating future need and trends that emerged in domestic, regional and international contexts.

Social implications

This paper addresses corruption by developing solutions that enable the government to solve present problem and to prevent future occurrences by anticipating incidents and areas of corruption; it is about proactive measures rather than reactive measures. This paper also emphasizes on a different perspective – looking at multiple lenses – understanding the systemic issues and interdependencies of anti-corruption challenges. The stakeholders then shift their lenses, narrowing the issues towards specific areas, from a broader perspective to a more focused perspective measure. This study ensures critical stakeholders’ involvement and buy-in; findings and suggested solutions are shared and tested amongst targeted groups. This will enable collective insights and shared responsibility for stakeholders in ensuring the success of the implementation of the plan.


The authors wish to highlight that reviews of various anti-corruption policy documents, especially in the Asia Pacific region were made. This was intended to highlight the significance of this paper and how it shows that the application of scenarios in formulation of a national level anti-corruption policy is unprecedented.


foresight, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689


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