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The unprecedented election of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad leaves open several big questions. The election could make way for a new political order, after throwing out the coalition that had ruled Malaysia since independence. Meanwhile, the opposition is embroiled in a heated debate over its own identity. Beyond the country’s borders, the new government’s approaches to neighbors like China and Singapore are already making waves.
Yang Razali Kassim
Japanese companies are making a big push overseas. The phenomenon is a result of a shrinking population, but also geopolitical pressure from China. To counter Beijing’s influence, Japan is using its economic heft to expand its reach and protect its interests. Its ties with countries like India and Australia will continue to grow, and it will step into the vacuums left by a withdrawing United States and an overstretched China.
Asian nations will continue their long-term strategy of making the most out of
their relationships with the United States and China in 2017. Though some
leaders, especially in the Philippines and Malaysia, have made high-profile
overtures to Beijing, and Vietnam has much to lose from TPP’s demise, none of
these countries will abandon partnership with Washington.
The removal of Anwar Ibrahim, the biggest threat to Malaysia’s ruling coalition government, could have a long-term impact on the country’s political battleground. The five-year jail term, on what some regard as a politically-motivated conviction, takes away the biggest headache - continuing the coalition’s 50-year grip on power – but a catalogue of other challenges...
Malaysia’s parliamentary elections on May 5, 2013, are the most crucial since the country gained independence in 1957. The fight is between the opposition party People’s Alliance (Pakatan Rakyat) and the ruling National Front (Barisan Nasional) – which has been in power since Malaysia’s inception. And for the first time, there is a chance that the opposition, runn...