Malaysia’s new dawn

Michelle Yesudas welcomes a democratic revolution but warns that reforms must be entrenched before optimism wanes

The World Today
3 minute READ

Michelle Yesudas

Malaysian human rights activist

Within less than a month since election day on May 9, Malaysia has been transformed from an underachieving child at the bottom of the class to one of the most surprising success stories in the school of democracy.

The end of the 60-year unbroken reign of its ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional − the National Front − sent a powerful message through the country, restoring the faith of its people in the ballot box and renewing their belief in each other.

Change is in the air in Malaysia: the political prisoner Anwar Ibrahim has been pardoned and released from prison; the country has its first woman deputy prime minister; and Malaysians have a promise that we can be author of our own democratic fate.

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