HONG KONG – In a comment on Mahathir’s victory in Malaysia’s election, Alicia Garcia Herrero, Chief Economist Asia-Pacific for the French banking group, Natixis, says the win has been read with suspicion by many analysts. “My take on it is positive,” she says.
“First of all, the Opposition’s victory confirms the importance that Malaysians attach to the future of their country and their own welfare, despite the heavy weight of history, which would have called for political continuity.
“Second, the election results should not be seen as a one-off event soon to be diluted by the populist announcements made by Mahathir during his campaign, especially as concerns the scrapping of the low –but still annoying - GST tax introduced by Prime Minister Najib.
“To me, this reading of Malaysia’s electoral results is somewhat short-sighted. When citizens ask for a change, they mean it, and Mahathir, especially given his age, will not want to pass to history without, at least, trying to deliver it (after several failed attempts in the past).