The "New Malaysia" - how much has really changed and where is it going?
This month marked the one-year anniversary in Malaysia of the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition’s election victory, on 9 May 2018, which ended the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s 61-year grip on power. The PH won the elections on the back of public frustration over the rising cost of living, and corruption under the BN, as demonstrated most clearly by the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal involving the former prime minister and BN leader Najib Razak. The coalition came to power with promises to curb rising living costs, combat corruption and introduce economic, political and multi-racial reforms into a “New Malaysia”. It also returned Mahathir Mohamad to the role of prime minister (as the world’s oldest at 93) – a highly-respected if controversial figure. A year into its term, however, the euphoria has worn off and there is growing disappointment at the PH’s slow delivery of its manifesto promises and reforms.