New Malaysia boldly go

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COMMENT | Over a year has passed since Pakatan Harapan was elected into government. This month there was a range of assessments of the government’s performance, with criticisms focusing on needless infighting, challenges in managing the economy, slow implementation of reforms and the persistent corrosive role of race and religion in national politics.

One year on, however, there is greater appreciation of the constraints any government faces in managing the complexities of Malaysia, the legacy of decay that has occurred over decades and the strong resistance there is to change, especially among elites who have benefitted from the leakages and largess in the system.

Rather than debate the government’s performance, this article takes a different tack to explore how the country’s political landscape has, and is, changing – to explore whether there is indeed a ‘New Malaysia’ by looking at non-government centric developments. I argue that through this lens, there are indeed important shifts – as Malaysians on the whole have adeptly adapted to the more uncertain political environment and are indeed embracing a new hopeful future – in fact, boldly so...

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