The structural regression of Malaysian manufacturing


Authors: Jayant Menon and Thiam Hee Ng, ADB

Malaysia’s manufacturing sector is reversing to a state reminiscent of its post-colonial stage of development. Regrettably this situation was avoidable.

When the Federation of Malaya gained independence from Britain in 1957, economic conditions were ripe for rapid and sustained growth. Its primary export sector was showing immense potential for expansion. Read more…

Malaysia’s troubles just beginning

MALAYSIA, Kuala Lumpur: Thousands of Malaysians took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur on August 30, 2015 to rally for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Andrew Harding, NUS

As it tussles with multiple crises of political legitimacy and governance, Malaysia has reached a decisive point in its more than half-century history as an independent nation. What started as a shocking but not exceptional scandal has turned into a political crisis of unprecedented proportions. This was underlined by the Bersih 4 protests on 29–30 August in Kuala Lumpur, attended by an estimated 250,000 yellow-T-shirted Malaysians.

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Fragility in Southeast Asian democracy

Singapore Prime Minister and Secretary General of the ruling People's Action Party Lee Hsien Loong gestures while delivering his speech during a political rally at the opposition constituency of Aljunied in Singapore, 04 September 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

Democracy in some of Southeast Asia’s major economies is now under intense scrutiny.

In Thailand, the imposition of martial law has been a major source of international economic and diplomatic problems for more than a year. Read more…

Malaysia’s mess is Mahathir-made

Embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on July 28 replaced his deputy premier Muhyiddin Yassin, who has been critical of Najib's handling of the 1MDB scandal, and sacked his attorney general amid a furore that is threatening his hold on office. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Dan Slater, University of Chicago

At least embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is right about one thing. The current mess in Malaysian politics is the making of his greatest nemesis, Mahathir Mohamad, who led the Southeast Asian nation with an iron fist from 1981–2003. What Najib fails to fathom is that Mahathir has not produced this mess by criticising his leadership, but by paving Najib’s path to power in the fashion he did during his decades in office. Read more…

Corruption scandal divides Malaysia’s political elite

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak during a government event in Putrajaya, 8 July 2015. Malaysian authorities have frozen six bank accounts as part of an investigation into allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars were transferred from a state investment fund to the personal accounts of Najib. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Bridget Welsh, NTU/THC/CDU

Malaysian Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Razak faces explosive allegations of embezzlement, corruption and electoral manipulation that go to the very core of his leadership and the legitimacy of his government. United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Najib’s political party, and Malaysia itself have been plunged into yet another crisis. Read more…

Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction lowers the bar on the Malaysian legal system

A masked supporter of Malaysia's opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, stands in front a police barricade during a protest demanding his release in Kuala Lumpur on 28 March 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Amanda Whiting, University of Melbourne

These are dangerous times for the rule of law in Malaysia. The Federal Court’s decision on 10 February 2015 to affirm Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s criminal conviction for ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’ is shocking, but entirely predictable. Read more…

How will the jailing of Anwar Ibrahim impact Malaysia’s foreign relations?

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim arrives at a court house in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Ibrahim began a 5-year prison sentence on 10 February 2015 after being found guilty of sodomising a former male aide in 2008. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Murray Hiebert and Nigel Cory, CSIS

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s seven-year fight against sodomy charges ended on 10 February 2015. His five-year prison sentence was widely seen as a victory for his political opponents in using the law to silence him (again). Read more…