Financial crises are, unfortunately, quite common in history and often cause economic tsunamis in affected economies.
The current mess in Malaysian politics is the making of his greatest nemesis, Mahathir Mohamad, who led the Southeast Asian nation with an iron fist from — Mahathir may believe that he can end the crisis by bringing Najib down.
But history should judge Mahathir himself as the author of a long national decline that has culminated in this latest crisis. But this road toward ruin commenced with Mahathir, not Najib. It is vital to realise that Mahathir rose to power in blessed circumstances.
Governance and tax collection were effective, and debts were few. Natural resource wealth, including oil, was professionally stewarded.
Incoming foreign investment was copious and about to mushroom even further. The regime was authoritarian, but not intensely repressive or disliked in comparative terms.
In short, Mahathir was holding a winning hand when he became prime minister in Then came the debt. Privatisation was part of his growth package, but the beneficiaries were businessmen of loyalty more than talent. When the global economy went into recession in the mids, patronage started drying up.
Mahathir responded by launching a police operation under the pretext of racial tensions, imprisoning and intimidating political rivals, and cementing his autocratic control.
The regime was increasingly repressive. The office of prime minister was becoming a haven of autocracy. Ethnic tensions had been reopened to political manipulation. The economy was worrisomely indebted. UMNO was shedding some of its most capable leaders.
Fast-forward a decade and all of these syndromes would recur in even nastier forms. Mahathir blamed everybody but himself for the crash. He sacked and imprisoned his popular and gifted deputy, Anwar Ibrahimlargely for his temerity in suggesting that Malaysia needed deeper reforms to regain economic health.
This was possible because Malaysia was still sitting on the fiscal reserves it had been amassing for half a century, since the British colonial period.
Mahathir grandiosely claimed that his imposition of capital controls had saved the economy. But capital flight had basically run its course by the time controls were implemented. Mahathir imposed them to facilitate political repression as much as economic recovery.
The spectre of anti-Chinese riots in neighbouring Indonesia was then callously manipulated to keep ethnic Chinese voters in the BN fold in the elections. Hence even before the turn of the millennium, Malaysia was hurtling down the very trajectory of decline we are witnessing in the current crisis.
Like Mahathir, Najib assumed autocratic control over the economy and embarked on reckless borrowing and investment schemes, especially 1MDB.
Like Mahathir, Najib unleashed a torrent of repression under antiquated security laws to protect his own position amid rising criticism from civil society and from within UMNO. Like Mahathir, Najib has recklessly played the ethnic and religious card as his position has weakened. In sum, Mahathir has nobody to blame more than himself as he watches Najib drive Malaysia even further into the ground.
If Malaysia is to exit this crisis on a path to restored health rather than steeper decline, the political and economic reforms first demanded in the reformasi movement of the late s will finally need to put in place: Dan Slater is associate professor in political science at the University of Chicago.Emergency management is the organization and management of the resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspects of emergencies (preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery).
The aim is to reduce the harmful effects of all hazards, including disasters.. The World Health Organization defines an emergency as . Jul 29, · Malaysia’s mess is Mahathir-made 29 July Author: Dan Slater, University of Chicago. At least embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is right about one thing.
Get the latest news and analysis in the stock market today, including national and world stock market news, business news, financial news and more. The Asian financial crisis was a period of financial crisis that gripped much of East Asia beginning in July and raised fears of a worldwide economic meltdown due to financial contagion..
The crisis started in Thailand (known in Thailand as the Tom Yum Goong crisis; Thai: วิกฤตต้มยำกุ้ง) with the financial collapse of the Thai baht . Islamic Economic Studies Vol.
9, No. 2, March THE FINANCIAL CRISIS IN MALAYSIA: CAUSES, RESPONSE, AND RESULTS† ZUBAIR HASAN∗ This paper argues that the financial crisis did not hit Malaysia because. Get the latest news and analysis in the stock market today, including national and world stock market news, business news, financial news and more.