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Stunting in Malaysia: Costs, Causes and Courses for Action

May 30, 2019

DECRG Kuala Lumpur Seminar Series

  • Childhood stunting has recently garnered public attention in Malaysia, but there remains a general lack of understanding surrounding the issue. Policymakers and the general public have mostly focused on the immediate causes of stunting, particularly on inadequate dietary intake, but have not paid as much attention to the underlying determinants of stunting. This paper seeks to contribute to the knowledge gap by highlighting the causes and effects of stunting, identifying statistical and historical trends on stunting in Malaysia, and providing suggestions on addressing stunting among Malaysian children. Notably, this paper assesses Malaysia's performance in the underlying determinants of stunting which consist of: (i) household food security; (ii) adequate care and feeding practices; (iii) access to health services; and (iv) the presence of a healthy environment. This paper uses a combination of publicly available data from the Institute of Public Health Malaysia and the Department of Statistics (DOS) Malaysia, engagements with subject matter experts and key stakeholders, and a literature review on childhood stunting.

    Download the paper

    Watch and join us at Live Chat: Seminar will be live-streamed, allowing for online audience participation (only available during the seminar) 

  • Derek Kok is Research Associate at the Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia (JCI) and the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development (JSC). His research interests cover the interactions between law, politics, and social policy, with a specific focus on institutional reform and rights-based approaches to welfare. His current work focuses on social protection policies for children and families. Previously, Derek was an analyst at a Malaysian think tank, where he researched and developed policy interventions on violent extremism in Malaysia. He has experience in international policy development - developing the private sector anti-corruption framework for the Bhutan Government and assisting on land & constitutional reform initiatives in Myanmar. Derek holds an LLM in Transnational Law with distinction from King's College London, and graduated with first class honours from the University of Liverpool Law School.


  • WHEN: Thursday, May 30, 2019; 12:30 -2:00PM
  • WHERE: World Bank Malaysia Office, Level 3, Sasana Kijang, No. 2, Jalan Dato’ Onn
  • RSVP: Kindly RSVP by Wednesday, May 29, 2019