Rebirth: Reformasi, Resistance, and Hope in New Malaysia
More than a year after ordinary Malaysians did the extraordinary and voted out a government in power since 1957, a raw reality has set in. On the eve of a once-idealised ‘Vision 2020’ of modern Malaysia, Rebirth: reformasi, resistance, and hope in New Malaysia questions an uncertain nation’s possible futures.
In a special series on Malaysia from the ANU’s New Mandala, classic Malaysiakini reportage of the fraught 14th general elections, and new essays pondering the country’s future, the book also explores how Malaysia’s two decades of democratisation via movements such as reformasi and Bersih have forged ambivalent urges for change – and where prospects of a new Malaysia might lie.
Celebrating fact-based reporting and evidence-based policy debates, Rebirth examines the centrality of Sabah and Sarawak in any successful idea of Malaysia, its vexed federalism, an economy buffeted by trade wars and the climate emergency, and the exigencies of the racialised and religious politics bleeding the nation dry.
Was Malaysia saved from kleptocracy by the world’s oldest prime minister, and does it finally transform itself into a sustainable democracy with another longstanding putative leader? Is there a younger generation of Malaysians with the gumption to make that difference? These are the questions that inform this book.