IDS serves to promote and develop research-based decision-making process with regards to the Sabah State Government’s policy formulation and implementation


Sabah is a developing State within Malaysia. As such the Sabah State Government has to be responsive and accommodative to the various divergent expectations and demands of the people while ensuring that the State’s scarce resources are optimally used and equitably distributed. For this purpose, the Sabah State Government needs objective advice and second opinion based on independent research and analyses to supplement and complement its existing sources of information and research capabilities.

IDS was created to assist the Sabah State Government to tap ideas and opinions, and also to analyse public policy proposals before they are implemented. As such, the Sabah State Government can enhance the quality of its decision-making process and thereby improve its policies and programs for the overall benefit of the State, the nation and the people.


The fundamental objective of IDS is to promote and develop research-based decision making in government with regards to policy formulation and implementation.

To achieve this objective, the institute performs the following functions:

  • Conducts problem problem-solving research on administrative and socio-economic development and submits policy proposals to the government for consideration;
  • Analyses and evaluates policy proposals submitted by the public and presents recommendations to the State Government for possible implementation;
  •  Organize seminars, forums and discussions with the am of tapping public opinions on problems and issues which can affect socio-economic development in Sabah; and
  • Maintain a high-quality information system.


To become the premier research institute in Malaysia for socio-economic development studies.


To assist the government in meeting the needs and aspiration of the people through research and analysis.

Organisational structure, membership description and information about funding sources


The organisational structure of IDS consists of the Board of Directors, the Management, Research and Supporting staff.

The Board shall consist of not more than 12 members of which six, including the Chairman, shall be appointed by the Chief Minister of Sabah. Other Board Members shall be elected at the Institute’s Annual General Meeting. The main function of the Board is to formulate policies and guidelines under which IDS should operate. The Executive Director is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Institute. He is being assisted by other senior officials comprising Associate Directors, Research Directors, and Heads of Supporting units.


The Memorandum and Articles of Association of IDS provide for the admission of 1000 members. Only Malaysian citizens are eligible to become members of the Institute. Non-citizens may be admitted as Associates Members but they shall have no voting rights and shall not be eligible to hold any office. The Board shall have full discretion regarding the admission of members to the Institute.




Grants from the Sabah State Government


Grants from international funding agencies


Sale of IDS Publications