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Jumaat, 11 Mei 2018

Anwar Ibrahim is the country’s best hope for a new reform consensus.7568.


"Only Mr. Anwar combines the political skill, belief in liberal values and moral authority to carry through the necessary reforms. There is no guarantee he will succeed, but his experience as a political prisoner starting in 1998 gives him credibility that no other leader has. Like Nelson Mandela in South Africa, he can set a new standard by forbearing revenge and letting the judiciary follow the law. It’s crucial that Dr. Mahathir honors his promise to stand aside soon for Mr. Anwar, who is Malaysia’s best hope for fixing its broken politics." 

The Wall Street Journal

Malaysia’s Democratic Spring. 

Anwar Ibrahim is the country’s best hope for a new reform consensus.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad talks during press conference in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, 
May 10. PHOTO: SADIQ ASYRAF/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Democracy is under pressure these days, so the surprise opposition victory in Malaysia Wednesday is welcome news for the world and especially for that multi-ethnic Southeast Asian nation. A coalition led by 92-year-old former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad mobilized voters disgusted by corruption to throw out a ruling party that had governed since independence in 1957.
If it’s true that a democracy isn’t genuine until there’s a peaceful change of power through an election, then Malaysia now qualifies. The opposition coalition won 122 seats in the 222-member parliament compared with 79 for the ruling coalition.
The victory probably wouldn’t have been possible without Dr. Mahathir, who was able to persuade ethnic Malay voters to abandon the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) he led for 22 years. The Prime Minister he defeated, Najib Razak, was his protégé but became enmeshed in scandals. We’ve had differences with Dr. Mahathir over the years, but his return to politics to rescue the better parts of his legacy is his finest hour.
Dr. Mahathir deserves further credit for promising to turn over power to another former protégé, the long-time opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Mr. Anwar is currently in prison serving a five-year sentence on trumped-up charges. If he receives a royal pardon as expected, he could run for parliament in a by-election and be Prime Minister within two years.
Malaysia needs Mr. Anwar’s leadership to rebuild the country’s degraded institutions. The immediate dilemma will be how to clean up corruption without misusing the law to seek revenge on political opponents.
Only Mr. Anwar combines the political skill, belief in liberal values and moral authority to carry through the necessary reforms. There is no guarantee he will succeed, but his experience as a political prisoner starting in 1998 gives him credibility that no other leader has. Like Nelson Mandela in South Africa, he can set a new standard by forbearing revenge and letting the judiciary follow the law.
Malaysia’s racial divide will pose an even greater challenge. UMNO has governed through a system of racial preferences that favors the majority Malays over ethnic Chinese and Indian citizens. While paying lip service to national unity, UMNO’s leaders fostered Malay nationalism for their own benefit.
This has led to political rent-seeking by elites that hurt Malaysia’s competitiveness, and the country sank into what is sometimes called the slow-growth “middle-income trap.” Affirmative action and patronage created a culture of mediocrity, prompting many able Malaysians to move abroad for better opportunities.
As Malaysians moved into cities and became better educated, resentment over this system grew. The government initially brushed off the alleged disappearance of $4.5 billion from a state-owned fund 1MDB in 2015. But the scandal caused several UMNO leaders to defect to the opposition, including Dr. Mahathir.
The new government has a chance to forge a new consensus for reform. But some leaders will be tempted to return to UMNO’s methods of control, or to pander to Islamists and Malay nationalists. It’s crucial that Dr. Mahathir honors his promise to stand aside soon for Mr. Anwar, who is Malaysia’s best hope for fixing its broken politics.
ref: 
Malaysia’s Democratic Spring - WSJ

Jerry Baker
SUBSCRIBER
20 yrs ago I ran a sizable factory in Penang.  Despite the typical low level corruption and shenanigans that were always present in that part of the world, it was a relatively easy place to do business.  Over the years the environment became more and more hostile to western investment.  Today everything that was manufactured there is built in China or the Philippines and that facility is shuttered.

Like so much of the 3rd world, the people did not get the government they deserved.  While there was plenty of racial and theological strife, The "Bumi's" (Malay indigenous people), the Chinese, and the Indians all managed to coexist.

  Lets hope this new chapter is a return to better times

Octavio Lima
SUBSCRIBER
It will also be important what kind of reforms Mr Anwar proposes. Yes, it is important to strengthen institutions. Yes, it is important to establish the rule of law. Yes, it is important to rely on separation of powers. But it is much more important to do it in a way that increases economic freedom for the people of Malaysia. The USA could help them in understanding the concepts, the reasons, the methods, and allow them to make their decisions.

Jerry Baker
SUBSCRIBER
  My involvement with Malaysia spanned from 1979 to 2001.  During most of that time they were very open to western business and economic principles.  In my experience the campus for capitalism is often our operations overseas.  Currently those campuses are disappearing at an alarming rate. Reversing that trend is crucial.
http://says.com/my/news/foreign-companies-that-have-shut-down-their-factories-in-malaysia

JOSE LANUZA
SUBSCRIBER
"Affirmative action and patronage created a culture of mediocrity..."

An interesting observation.  Is this something we should be worried about here as well?

Alan West
SUBSCRIBER
"Democratic Spring"?!  Hardly.  Try "Islamic Winter".

After Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza, Somalia, Libya, Yemen one would think that even the most thick-headed, addle-brained editorialists would have realized that democracy and Islam go together like oil and water.

Jerome Abernathy
SUBSCRIBER
Malaysia's government is democratic and  secular, but don't let facts get in the way of your hatred. 13 hours ago  (Edited)

Deborah Rosser
SUBSCRIBER
Your comment would have garnered more respect and influence if you had omitted the insult for editorialists.










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