Lessons from the Political Change in Malaysia? A View from India

Economics in action

I have written a book narrating a possible story of long-term political transition in different countries in 2014[i], and I have used that framework recently to discuss the political situation in South Africa, Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela here. The recent political developments in Malaysia fit well with the framework of the book. Let me narrate the story and the connection with Malaysian case briefly here.

Let us take the theoretical argument first. Desirable political change requires the mobilization of almost all sections of people (and not only the elites or middle-class). Moreover there should be adequate competition in politics. Each of the competing party/coalition should have a reasonable chance of coming to power. In the absence of such a competitive politics, there can be a number of issues even if the majority is mobilized politically, they participate in elections and governments are elected through formal democracy.

However…

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