Malaysia has once again elected Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister, and the economy is the topic of the day. The appointment of 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad as the prime minister of Malaysia was phenomenal in its own right, but more so in the context of the hope and expectations, Malaysians have for him to rework the economy.
The general election held on May 9 was a turning point in Malaysia’s 60-year history. For the first time the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), failed to win and form the federal government.
This is a truly remarkable and extraordinary success for a myriad of reasons as the Pakatan Harapan — the coalition that Mahathir leads — victory was against all odds, including allegations of electoral fraud, a well-oiled and well-funded incumbent election machinery, and an opponent largely in control of the traditional media.
Despite some last-minute delaying tactics by the previous administration led before Mahathir was sworn in as the seventh prime minister, the transition of power has been peaceful and in accordance with the rule of law. This is a testimony to the world that even in a flawed democracy, the ability to change government without violence is possible. Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of Singapore, in responding to a question on the attraction of democracy, said, “The greatest attraction of democracy is you can change government without violence.”