- International development
Azral is a full-time PhD student at the Department of International Development, King’s College London. His research focuses on the political economy of oil royalties transfer and use, particularly at the subnational government in resource-rich developing countries. He holds a Master of Economics from Universiti Putra Malaysia, where his project paper analysed the relationships between halal standards and their impact on trade with empirical evidence on the export of Malaysian Halal food and beverages sector. Before joining King’s College London, he worked with the Government of Malaysia. He has 16-year of experience in public service, diplomacy and policy-making, with strong stakeholder engagement and management skills, specifically in budget planning, macroeconomics and bilateral relations.
Thesis title: The Political Economy of Subnational Oil Royalties: Comparative Case Studies of Resource-Rich States in Malaysia
The study will focus on the political economy of oil royalties at the state governments in Malaysia. The PhD will address how power and resources are distributed and contested in oil royalty transfers and use and the implications for development outcomes at the state level. This study identifies Terengganu and Sarawak, two resource-rich states in Malaysia, as the case studies for this research. Several commonalities and dissimilarities make both states are suitable for cross-case comparison. The first part of the thesis provides insight into the evolution of the political and economic institutions of the oil and gas sector after the enforcement of the Petroleum Development Act of 1974 in Malaysia. Then, it continues with the assessment on the political and economic processes in oil royalty transfers and their use through formal and informal institutions at the state level from three dimensions: political settlement, rents space, and deals space, especially on informal and personalised relationships between economic actors and political elites in developing countries. Finally, the study analyses stakeholders’ involvement in oil royalty use at the subnational level in order to understand factors that promote/hinder inclusive decision-making processes among political agents such as political elites, civil servants and private sectors.
Principal supervisor: Andy Sumner
Secondary supervisor: Juan Grigera