Indonesia and Malaysia

bq. In contrast to Indonesia, where real democracy took root after the ousting of Suharto, post-Mahathir Malaysia has kept a system of authoritarian rule cloaked in democratic trappings and reliant for its legitimacy on perpetual economic growth. Like the Chinese Communist party, Umno fears nothingso much as economic recession. As far as his Umno colleagues are concerned, Mr Abdullah’s unglamorous task is not to fight corruption or promote reform, but to ensure recession never happens. “Financial Times”: Avoiding recession is a sysiphean task in a maturing economy like Malaysia’s. Recessions at some point errupt from the business cycle because …  um… well, there’s still no settled explanation. But it’s a safe bet. I hope Victor Mallet is right about Indonesia. The jury is still out, debating the future role of the PKI.

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