The 92-year-old former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad is back in power ousting his former protégé, the scandal-ridden Najib Razak.
Just when prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was basking in glory after the usual praises poured on him at the end of the ruling UMNO's general assembly, he was jolted by a mammoth opposition-backed rally in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, on November 10. That tens of thousands of protesters heeded the silent invitation to join the rally calling for major reforms in the way elections are conducted, after countless threats and warnings from the prime minister and police chiefs, sends a signal that the people's resentment of the UMNO is even more than it was thought to be.
Malaysia is the favourite Muslim country for many Western Muslims. The reasons were not difficult to see when this writer visited the country last month; Malaysia can perhaps be characterised as Muslim but not too Muslim. You can eat halal food wherever you go, there are suraus (prayer rooms) in malls, hotels and most other public buildings, and virtually all Muslimahs wear hijab. But in terms of their development, modernity, looks and general atmosphere, Kuala Lumpur and surrounding urban areas such as Petaling Jaya feel more like Islamised versions of cities in the West than Muslim cities like Cairo, Damascus, Tehran, Karachi or Jakarta.
Malaysia’s United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) held its general assembly last month. It was the first such gathering for the ruling party since Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over the helm in October 2003. But as usual there were no elections for the president’s and deputy president’s posts
The results of the general elections held on March 21 in Malaysia were as expected (see Crescent, March 2004): a return to the pre-Anwar-Ibrahim saga situation...
A hundred days is generally accepted to be a reasonable time after which to gauge the progress or performance of a new government or political leader...
It could have been yet another festival of tears for the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO), Malaysia’s ruling party, when it held its annual congress last month. That party-president-cum-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad would weep as he has in previous years was taken for granted.
Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamed was returned to office in the general elections late last month, as widely predicted, but was severely bruised in the process and faces a difficult and uncertain future...
Malaysian politics went into overdrive last month, after prime minister Mahathir Mohammed finally called the country’s long-awaited elections on November 10. The polls were scheduled for November 29 (after Crescent press time).
If prime minister Mahathir Mohamed believed that by dismissing Anwar Ibrahim and accusing him of moral turpitude would destroy his reputation, the people of Malaysia have proved him dead wrong. Showing uncharacteristic defiance, the people have held massive rallies in support of Reformasi, the reform movement launched by Anwar.
One of Malaysia’s prominent alims (Islamic scholars), Datuk Ishak Baharom, is to lose his job as the State Mufti of Selangor - Malaysia’s richest state - effective from October 31, 1997.
Some Malays are not so easily impressed with the claim that the Malays have finally ascended the ladder of success. Critics have been arguing for a reorientation of methods and goals.