Asia Liberty Forum brings together friends of the freedom movement across Asia to discuss challenges facing the region and to learn from one another how to most effectively advance free-market reforms. 

You will learn from distinguished speakers and participate in interactive sessions to strengthen civil society efforts to move public policy in the direction of greater freedom. Atlas Network will announce the winners of its Regional Liberty Awards, which celebrate the most successful projects by Atlas Network partners.     

Other highlights include:

  • Speed Networking, designed to help attendees expand their contacts 
  • Elevator Pitch Competition, where participants will present their 60-second pitch with the chance to win a prize
  • Training workshops to hone your skills in marketing, social media, and entrepreneurship
  • Documentary screening of India Awakes

Please scroll down for the full schedule.

About Atlas Network's Regional Liberty Forums:

New in 2016, Atlas Network is hosting Regional Liberty Forums in cooperation with local organizing partners. The purpose of these events is to support partner organizations in their desires to learn more from each other and to accelerate the sharing of best practices through training and friendly competition by region. Any partners interested in serving as a local organizer can complete this online inquiry.

The forums will also celebrate successful partner projects with a new regional awards program. Those awards join a competitive suite offered by Atlas Network including the annual Templeton Freedom Award, which will continue to be presented each year during the global Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner.


Thursday, February 18, 2016
17:00           Registration
18:00           Welcome & Opening Address

Welcome by Tricia Yeoh, Institute for Democracy & Economic Affairs, Malaysia
Opening Address by Baishali Bomjan, Centre for Civil Society, India
Keynote Address: "Asia Liberty Rising" by Dr. Tom G. Palmer, Atlas Network, U.S.

19:00           Networking Activity (Quiz)
            Hosted by Baishali Bomjan, Centre for Civil Society & Tricia Yeoh, IDEAS
20:00           Dinner
22:00           Close
Friday, February 19, 2016
8:30           Registration
9:00           Speed Networking
            A great Liberty Forum tradition! In a "speed dating" format, you will quickly meet new freedom champions and hear new perspectives. A great way to expand your contacts and experience the diversity of Atlas Network's worldwide partners.
Hosted by Azrul Mohd Khalib, Institute for Democracy & Economic Affairs, Malaysia
10:00           Welcome and Keynote Address
            Welcome by Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Institute for Democracy & Economic Affairs, Malaysia
Opening address by Siegfried Herzog, FNF, Southeast Asia
10:20           Panel Discussion — Faces of Freedom in Asia
            Wonderful things are happening in Asia; there are reasons to be hopeful about the liberty movement in our hemisphere. In this special panel, we'll introduce you to some of the best and brightest of Atlas Network's partners and let them tell you their stories face to face.
Chaired by Rainer Heufers, Center for Indonesian Policy Studies, Indonesia
  • Baladevan Rangaraju, India Institute, India
  • Dhananath Fernando, Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka
  • Noor Amin Ahmad, LEAD, Malaysia
  • Basanta Adhikari, Bikalpa, Nepal
  • Rishi Kochhar, Amritsar Policy Group, India
  • Xiong Yue, Babel Institute, China
12:45           Lunch
Documentary Screening: Poverty, Inc.
Hosted by Kris Mauren, Acton Institute, U.S.
14:30           Concurrent Breakout Sessions
            1. TPP, TTIP, RCEP, AEC, and other trade deals: are they really good for developing countries?
Chaired by Julian Morris, Reason Foundation, U.S.
  • Razeen Sally, LKYSPP, Singapore
  • Sethaput Suthiward-Narueput, Thailand Future Foundation
  • Vivek Dehejia, IDFC Institute, India
            2. Using Networks for Leveraging Influence — successful collaborations with new partners
Chaired by Siegfried Herzog, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Southeast Asia
  • Robin Sitoula, Samriddhi — The Prosperity Foundation, Nepal
  • Parth J. Shah, Centre for Civil Society, India
  • Lorenzo Montanari, International Property Rights Index, U.S.
            3. Enterprise Solutions to Poverty: From Thought to Action
Chaired by Jonathan Moody, PovertyCure, U.S.
  • Kris Mauren, Acton Institute, US
  • Ate Ruth, Center for Community Transformation (CCT) Group of Ministries, Philippines
  • Jon Borde, Hands of Freedom, India
16:00           Break
16:30           Concurrent Breakout Sessions
            1. The Role of Internet: Challenges to Liberty Online
Chaired by Ruben Dieckhoff, FNF, Southeast Asia
  • Premesh Chandran, Malaysiakini, Malaysia
  • Syed S. Kazi, Digital Empowerment Foundation, India
  • Andy Budiman, Serikat Jurnalisuntuk Keberagaman (SEJUK)
            2. Liberty in the Muslim World
Chaired by Wan Saiful Wan Jan, IDEAS, Malaysia
  • Maszlee Malik, Istanbul Network
  • Farouk Musa, Islamic Renaissance Front
  • Ali Salman, PRIME, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Iskan,, Indonesia
            3. Scaling Liberty Through Academia
Chaired by Daniel Green, Templeton Foundation, U.S.
  • Ken Schoolland, International Society for Individual Liberty, U.S.
  • Madhusudan Raj, Veer Narmad South Guarat University, India
  • Baishail Bomjan, Centre for Civil Society, India
  • Kim Chung Ho, Freedom Factory Ltd., South Korea
18:00           Break
20:00           Freedom Dinner
            Hosted by Baishali Bomjan, Centre for Civil Society, India
  • Peace, Love, Liberty!
  • Freedom Toast by Parth J. Shah, Centre for Civil Society, India
  • Regional Liberty Awards hosted by Stephanie Giovanetti, Atlas Network, U.S.
    The 2016 Regional Liberty Awards recognize think tank within the Atlas Network that have made important contributions to improving the landscape for enterprise and entrepreneurship in their regions.
  • Dinner at 21:00
22:30           Close
Saturday, February 20, 2016
8:30           Registration
8:45           Documentary Screening: India Awakes
            India Awakes is an uplifting and joyous new public television documentary, produced by Free To Choose Network, depicting how previously marginalized populations are benefiting from free-market reforms. Watch the trailer here.
            Hosted by Barun Mitra, Liberty Institute, India
10:00           Break
10:15           Panel Discussion: Political Changes across Asia — Are We Better or Worse Off?
            Chaired by: TBD
  • Rajesh Jain, Free A Billion, India
  • Dato' Steven CM Wong, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Malaysia
  • Kriengsak Chareonwongsak, Institute of Future Studies for Development, Thailand
  • Rohan Samarajiva, LirneAsia, Sri Lanka
11:45           Break
12:00           Concurrent Breakout Sessions
            1. The Chinese Financial Crises and Their Impact on Asia
Chaired by Cris Lingle, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala
  • Dr. Carmelo Ferlito, IDEAS Senior Fellow
  • Andrew Shuen, Lion Rock Institute, Hong Kong
  • Li Weisen, Fudan University, China
  • Mao Shoulong, Renmin University, China
            2. Measuring Policy Change: Why Indices Matter?
Chaired by Ron Manners, Mannkal Economic Education Foundation
  • Tricia Yeoh, Institute for Democracy & Economic Affairs, Malaysia
  • Manoj Mathew, Centre for Civil Society, India
  • Arpita Nepal, Samriddhi — The Prosperity Foundation, Nepal
  • Ali Salman, Policy Research Institute for Market Economy, Pakistan
            3. Private School Revolution in Asia
Chaired by Terry Kibbe, Rising Tide Foundation, U.S.
  • Ekta Sodha, Sodha Schools, India
  • Muhammad Adi Rahman, CIPS, Indonesia
  • Rohan Joshi, National Independent Schools Alliance, India
13:30           Lunch & Elevator Pitch Competition
            Twenty graduates from the Think Tank Start-up Training will each deliver a one-minute pitch to the audience. The winner, decided by audience voting, will receive USD $500 prize money.
            Hosted by Cindy Cerquitella, Atlas Network, U.S.
15:00           Concurrent Breakout Sessions
            1. Protecting Yourself Against Daylight Robbery — Current Challenges to Property Rights
            Chaired by: TBD
  • Barun Mitra, Liberty Institute, India
  • Kriengsak Chareonwongsak, Institute of Future Studies for Development, Thailand
  • Julian Morris, Reason Foundation, U.S.
  • Lorenzo Montanari, international Property Rights Index, U.S.
            2. The Rhetoric of Liberty — Shaping Opinions & Changing Mindsets in Challenging Environments
            Chaired by Eamonn Butler, Adam Smith Institute, UK
  • Khalid Ramizy, Silk Road Online Radio & TV, Afghanistan
  • Li Schoolland, TFT Events, China
  • Muhammad Ikhsan,, Indonesia
            3. Building Evidence for Policy Change — Paper Presentations from Liberating Asian Enterprise Grant
Chaired by Laura Liu, Atlas Network, U.S.
  • Tamanna Patel, Pubic Procurement in FTAs: The Challenges for Malaysia, IDEAS, Malaysia
  • Akash Shrestha, Cost of Firing, Samriddhi — The Prosperity Foundation, Nepal
  • Dr. D. Dhanuraj, Liberalizing Liquor Trade in India, Centre for Public Policy Research, India
16:30           Break
16:15           Mentors Roundtable and “Un-Conference”
            "Mentors Roundtable" is a chance for in-person mentorship opportunities unlike any other. Leaders of our movement will each host a table on his or her area of expertise and answer your questions. Delegates have to sign up in advance for spaces. A sign-up sheet will be available at the registration desk.
            "Un-Conference" brings a workshop atmosphere to the traditional policy conference. Rather than listening to lectures, attendees and presenters work together with the help of a trained facilitator to take think tank projects to new levels of ambition and effectiveness.
18:30           Break
19:00           Registration
20:00           IDEAS 6th Anniversary Celebration & Dinner
  • Welcoming Remarks from IDEAS President
  • Short video produced by IDEAS
  • Presentation of Annual Report by Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Institute for Democracy & Economic Affairs, Malaysia
  • Speech by a Malaysian guest of honor about Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, former Prime Minister of Malaysia
  • Cultural show (dance & music)
23:00           Close


Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel

Corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur, 50450 Malaysia
Phone: +60 3 2162 2233
Fax: +60 3 2163 1122
Toll-free: 60 800 38 7272
Click here for hotel website

An Overview of Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is multicultural and traveler-friendly, with a good mix of international and exotic character. Few cities have so many thriving groups of ethnic and religious minorities living under one banner. Visitors find the cultural mores as easy to navigate as the city's first-rate public transportation network.

Fast facts

Population: 1,810,000
Spoken languages: Malay, English, Mandarin, Cantonese
Electrical: 220-240 Volts, 50 Hertz
Phone/calling code: +60

Customs and etiquette

There is a high level tolerance for foreign rules and etiquette in this multicultural city. The most important thing to avoid is public affection, which is frowned on between all couples whether they're dating or married. The only other item likely to elude Western travelers is the need to remove shoes before entering a temple or private residence.

Alcohol is frowned on in Muslim society but is still widely available as Malaysian culture welcomes people from all walks of life. Tipping is not routine when dining out in Kuala Lumpur though upscale restaurants may include a 10 percent service charge.

What is the local currency in Kuala Lumpur?

The Malaysian ringgit (MYR) is the local currency. Travelers have ample opportunity to exchange currency, with moneychangers in local shopping areas offering more competitive rates than those in banks, hotels or the airport.

Cash is essential in the market stalls of Chinatown and Little India, though travelers won't have to go far to find an ATM. Credit cards are widely accepted at large department stores, international restaurants and in many upscale boutiques.

What about the weather?

Kuala Lumpur is not far north of the equator, and the weather remains warm and humid throughout the year. It is important to stay well hydrated and plan midday retreats into air-conditioned havens like shopping malls, cinemas and museums.

Rainfall peaks from March to April and again from September to November. The difference at this time isn't so severe as to make travel unadvisable. Instead, these rainy months are often slightly cooler and can be more comfortable for travelers. In any event, it's wise to carry an umbrella in any season, as sporadic downpours are always possible.

What airports serve Kuala Lumpur? 

There are two main passenger airports in Kuala Lumpur:

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL):  KUL (KLIA1 and KLIA2) is 55km south of the city 

Subang Airport (SZB): SZB is 25km west of the city. 

What is the difference between KLIA and KLIA2 at KUL?

If you think some of the bigger airports in the world like Heathrow it is made up of several terminals (T 1, 2, 3, 4 ,5) etc. All terminals at LHR are the same airport and have the same IATA airport code (LHR).

KLIA1 and KLIA2 are different terminals at KUL (Kuala Lumpur International Airport). The airport started life with just the one terminal, but as Air Asia grew rapidly, LCCT (or low cost carrier terminal) was hastily built as a temporary stop gap until the new terminal for the low cost carriers was completed as KLIA2.

Flying MH Malaysia Airlines, you will be arriving into KLIA1 (which is normally shown as Terminal M on tickets) at KUL, whilst Air Asia is a low cost carrier, so arrives into KLIA2 at KUL.

To sort of add to the confusion KLIA1 is split into 2 buildings, the main building (shown as a --- on the link below) and the satellite building (shown as a + on the link). The main building and the satellite building is connected by the Aerotrain. The main building is where check in counters, immigration counters, baggage collection and ground transport are located. The satellite building is not an independent terminal, so if your flight arrives at the satellite building you'll have to proceed to the main building for arrival immigration, baggage collection etc. Wide bodied planes (747 / A380 / 777) from international destinations will arrive into the satellite building (Gates C), while domestic flights and short-haul international flights using narrow bodied planes (737) will arrive into the main building (Gates A / B / G / H).

Which airlines are arriving at or leaving from KLIA1/KLIA2/SZB? 

Here is a list of some of the more popular airlines:

KUL KLIA1 - Malaysia Airlines and other full service airlines such as Emirates, Qatar, British Airways, Bangkok Airways, Etihad, and some low cost airlines such as Air India Express

KUL KLIA2 - low cost airlines such as Air Asia, Tiger Airways, Cebu Pacific, Malindo Air, Jetstar

SZB Subang Airport SZB - Berjaya Air, Firefly

Please check with your airline if in doubt.

How long will it take to get from KLIA1 / KLIA2 to the hotels in the city?

It depends on the traffic and where exactly you are staying. Most transits from KUL (KLIA1 / KLIA2) airport to Kuala Lumpur areas like Bukit Bintang or KLCC will generally take around 40-60 minutes, slightly longer at peak times of the day.  Subang Airport is closer to the city, but try to allow one hour for traveling time. 

Should a traveler arrange for transfers from hotel or private car, or should the traveler just buy a coupon from the airport counters?

Hotel transfers and private cars are usually more expensive in most cases. Compare the prices before you decide and pick the option that best suits you.

KUL airport - KLIA1 terminal - how do I get to and from the terminal?

As KUL is 55 km away from the city centre, travel can take between 30-60 minutes depending on the time of day you travel or the mode of travel or even the route taken. 

There are a number of ways to travel to the city from KUL: taxi, train or bus.

Taxis to KUL airport

All taxis at the airport will  take you to any destinations at a prepaid rate.

Fare is fixed as per destination and vehicles, Budget, Premier, Family or Limousine

Please be aware that all budget taxi will seat only 3 passengers due to constraint of luggage space. Space is taken up by a LPG gas tank stored inside the boot..

Taxis have the disadvantage of being subject to traffic delays and congestion. As you come into the Arrival Hall, you will walk past the taxi counter, this is run by a company called Airport Limo.  Select the type of taxi you want, budget, limo/Luxury, Mini-van/Family, premier etc, pay for taxi, you will then be informed where to pick up your cab. You will not be ripped off and will not have to pay any extras. 

The KLIA Express Train to KUL airport

At the Arrival Hall, look out for the lift shafts which prominently display purple signs for KLIA Express. Take the lifts to Level 1 for the station.

The 28 minute journey takes passengers from KLIA1 and KLIA2 directly to the train hub of KL Sentral. KL Sentral is not in a central location and may require additional taxi / bus / train to your destination.  Direct trains (KLIA Express) leave every 15-30 mins depending on the time of day, from the airport station straight to KL Sentral, taking 28 minutes. The train's great advantages are that it avoids unpredictable traffic congestion as well as being more comfortable than a taxi or bus.

There is another train line (KLIA Transit) that takes a little longer but is generally only used by locals living in the suburbs of Salak Tinggi, Bandar Tasik Selatan, the administrative center of Putrajaya and the Multimedia Super Corridor Cyberjaya. Both trains are great value. Travelers can obtain KLIA Express tickets (RM35 for a one way adult ticket and RM15 for a child ticket) at the airport counters or at the counters in KL Sentral. 

KL Sentral is the main public transport hub for KL and it’s easy to change to all city transport within the terminal. The only exception is the monorail and that’s a 5 min walk - not recommended in the humidity if carrying luggage - get a taxi!  You can check in your luggage if you are flying out with Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Royal Brunei Airlines, and get boarding cards at the station, which is known as KL City Air Terminal (KL CAT). For more information, visit:

Upon arrival at KL Sentral, head towards the taxi counters on the ground floor. The KL Hilton and Le Meridien is right across the road but their representatives will meet you at the exit of the train station to assist you with your bags and check-in. Both hotels also help with the purchase of the KLIA Express train tickets.  Guests need to book this complimentary service prior to arrival.  If you are not staying at these hotels, you can either buy a taxi coupon to your hotel or take another train. A coupon taxi will cost RM 8 - 10 to Bukit Bintang or KLCC. 

Hotel limousine service

If the thought of public transport does not appeal to you, you might want to arrange for a hotel representative to meet you at the airport. Many hotels include airport pick-up service in some of their room rates.  Expect these prices to be higher than the Airport Limo prices.

How do I get to the Renaissance from Kuala Lumpur International Airport - KUL?

Airport Phone: +60 3 8776 2000

Hotel direction: 34.2 miles SW

Airport shuttle service, on request, fee: 250 MYR (one way) 

Alternate transportation: Hotel limo Mercedes MYR340 one way; MPV MYR 460.00 one way; 50 percent surcharge 12midnight-6am; fee: 250 MYR (one way); reservation required

  • Bus service, fee: 10 MYR  (one way)
  • Subway service, fee:  35 MYR  (one way)
  • Estimated taxi fare: 150 MYR  (one way)

What is the best means of transport while in Kuala Lumpur?

The most convenient means of getting around is by taxi, which can be affordably chartered to any destination in the metropolitan area. It is best to insist that drivers use the meter. The public bus system, headlined by Rapid KL lines, has become more accessible in recent years, but the easiest means of getting around is still the light rail transit (LRT), with routes connecting all the major districts and suburbs.

There are several rail connections from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) to the city center. The KLIA Ekspres is the most convenient, connecting in less than 30 minutes, while the KL Transit train takes just a few extra minutes. Airport shuttle buses can get to the city center in an hour, and taxis are widely available outside Arrivals.

Do travelers need a visa to enter Malaysia?

Britains, Australians, Americans, Canadians, and most European citizens (among others) do not require a visa and  will be issued with a 30-90 day permit to stay by immigration when they arrive. Some nationalities need a visa issued before they arrive, or can apply for a transit without visa if they have a short stay and tickets arriving and departing with Malaysia Airlines or Air Asia. See Visa Requirement by Country on the Malaysian Immigration Department website.

Does the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur have parking?

On-site parking, fee: 10 MYR hourly

Valet parking, fee: 25 MYR daily

Room guests enjoy a flat rate of MYR10.00 nett with multiple entry and exit.

Are pets allowed at the Reniassance Kuala Lumpur?

Pets are not allowed.

What are Check-in and Check-out times at the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur?

Check-in: 3:00 PM / Check-out: 12:00 PM

Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

MD Travel Health (

World Health Organization (

Read more:

Tell me about drinking water.

  • Never drink tap water.
  • Check bottled water seals are intact at purchase.
  • Avoid ice in places that look dubious.
  • Avoid fresh juices if they have not been freshly squeezed or you suspect they may have been watered down.