21 January 2018
The Singapore-Malaysis bilateral retreat on January 16, 2018 had a special air about it this time. Significant progress was achieved, pushing ties to a new level. Hovering in the background, however, was the looming Malaysian general election which Prime Minister Najib Razak must call by August. Indeed, he is in his final leg gearing up for his most important political battle back home since taking over the Malaysian leadership in 2009.
Inevitably, at the joint press conference at the Istana in Singapore, the media had to ask the burning question: how would all the agreements be affected by the coming Malaysian polls, the country’s 14th and Mr Najib’s most critical? Indeed, unlike previous Malaysian elections, this coming one could be decisive: It would most likely be too close to call, whatever the prognosis may be at this point. In other words, it would be premature, if not presumptuous, for either Mr Najib’s ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) or the Pakatan Harapan (PH) opposition coalition to claim with certainty that they would win.
… Yang Razali Kassim is a Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 22/01/2018