Mahathir Mohamad stepped down as Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister in 2003. Officially he does not hold any political office, but his views and influence still prevail. He was largely responsible for deposing his handpicked successor, Abdullah Badawi, and he is in the process of trying to do the same to the current PM Najib Razak.
But Malaysian society has moved beyond Mahathir especially in the non-political arena. Malaysian youths are now more open and largely influenced by social media, as can be seen in Barisan Nasional’s loss of the popular vote in the 2013 general. At the same time, Malaysian society has become more Islamic and conservative. The government is still pursuing Anwar Ibrahim, Mahathir’s nemesis, through the courts.
This collection of essays will look at how Malaysian society has evolved in the past decade without Mahathir as PM. While there are groups in Malaysia that would like to see the return of Mahathirism, others are questioning if Malaysia is heading in the right direction or Malaysia should return to Mahathir-type policies.
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