Adam Muhtar

Matriculation year: 2020

Degree: MPhil in Public Policy


"I came to Cambridge fresh from tours within Malaysian policymaking circles in the days leading to and following from the country's landmark 2018 general elections, serving in the Prime Minister's advisory council, the Ministry of Finance, the capital market regulator, and the sovereign wealth fund’s policy research arm.

"While in Cambridge, and under the supervision of Professor Diane Coyle, my research revolved around institutional structures responsible for industrial policy. This research was a step away from the ideological debates of ‘why’ industrial policies should (or should not) be deployed and a step towards a more pragmatic attempt at answering the question of ‘how’—looking directly into the nuts and bolts of industrial policymaking structures, designs, and applications that would ultimately determine its success or failure. Our findings for the British experience highlighted how the UK suffered from inconsistent and and poorly co-ordinated industrial policies; a symptom that can be traced back to a top-down ‘impositional’ style of policymaking. Now, I’m building on this work as a Research Assistant to Professor Coyle here in Cambridge’s Bennett Institute for Public Policy."

Life at Catz

"The Tunku Fund provides an amazing opportunity for aspiring scholars to pursue their intellectual ambitions and experience the best Cambridge has to offer. The community life in Catz and Cambridge in general has been nothing short of amazing, even though we were in Cambridge during the worst of the pandemic!"

Advice for potential applicants

"Never sell yourself short; there is an eager reader on the other side of the application keen to learn more about yourself and your intellectual passions!"