17 January 2017
In the coming Trump era, Malaysia-US relations are likely to face both challenges and continuities. Existing structural factors would continue to undergird Malaysia-US relations while potential extremes of the Trump presidency could affect domestic politics in Malaysia. Personality-driven foreign policy still counts in future Malaysia-US relations.
The inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump on 20 January 2017 will herald a new era in United States foreign policy. This will have implications on Malaysia-US relations. Although Prime Minister Najib Razak had openly expressed that bilateral ties would not be affected with a new US president at the helm, it is uncertain how bilateral ties will fare under the Trump administration’s Southeast Asia policy which remains unclear.
There are three possible scenarios on continuities and challenges in Malaysia-US ties in the Trump Era. Firstly, embedded structural factors will continue to undergird Malaysia-US relations. Secondly, potential extremities arising from the Trump presidency could pose domestic political challenges for Najib and his government. Thirdly, Malaysia’s elite-driven foreign policy could lead to positive developments in Malaysia-US relations.
… David Han Guo Xiong is a Research Analyst with the Malaysia Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 17/01/2017