Mahathir’s back: are we going to see a revival of the Asian Values debate?

Originally published by Hong Kong Free Press on 12/05/2018.


The return of Mahathir Mohamad in Malaysia means we may see a revival of the Asian Values debate.

Earlier this week Malaysians went to the polls and voted into power the 92-year-old former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. In many respects the removal from power of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and its political allies is welcome news for democrats across the world.

 This is the first time that this coalition will be out of power since the country’s independence in the late 1950s. This prolonged one-party rule has no doubt encouraged illicit practices like gerrymandering and corruption in Malaysian politics. Yet, while voters gave the corrupt Prime Minister Najib Razak a kicking, his successor is no liberal democrat.

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