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Awakening: The Abdullah Badawi Years in Malaysia

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Awakening: The Abdullah Badawi Years in Malaysia
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Author/Editor: Bridget Welsh,James U.H. Chin
New Pb 620 pp.
Subject: Malaysia,Politics
Condition: Good
Published: 2013

Tun Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi served as Prime Minister of Malaysia from 2003 to 2009. Better known as Pak Lah, he came in office with a huge mandate. In the 2004 General Elections, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) won its best performance since 1969. Five years later in the 2008 GE, the BN won only 140 of 222 seats, a net loss of 58 seats. More importantly it meant the BN lost its customary two-thirds majority in parliament.

More than thirty authors, Malaysians and non-Malaysians, give an assessment of the one-term Abdullah administration. The central theme of the book is the question: how did Tun Abdullah change the Malaysian political landscape? This volume offers a comprehensive glimpse of the Abdullah administration from both inside and outside the administration.

“He assumed office as PM on a vast sea of optimism and he could have accomplished more. Indeed his motto when assuming office was “work with him, not for him”. He should have taken the opportunities of making sweeping changes in the cabinet, the civil service, judiciary and other organs of power and governance."

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah


Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi; Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah; Dato’ Seri Abdul Azim Zabidi; Datuk Zaid Ibrahim; Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khir Bin Toyo; Datuk Denison Jayasooria; Datuk Ramesh Chander; YB Liew Chin Tong; Edmund T. S. Bon; William Case; Chua Sue-Ann; Mohd. Faisal Syam Bin Abdol Hazis; Farish A. Noor; Edmund Terence Gomez; Wan Hamidi Hamid; Gerhard Hoffstaedter; K. Kabilan; Clive Kessler; Khadijah Khalid; Khaw Veon Szu; Kuik Cheng-Chwee; Lee Kam Hing; Joseph Chin Yong Liow; Lim Teck Ghee; Maria Chin Abdullah; Anil Netto; Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad; Ooi Kee Beng; Oon Yeoh; Arnold Puyok; Rita Sim; Jason Tan; Andrew Willford and Zulkifli Bin Sulong

Book Content:

Acknowledgements ix

About the Contributors xi

Foreword xx

Introduction xxii 

Abdullah Badawi and Transformations

1. Tun Abdullah Badawi

‘Doing the Invisible’: A Conversation with Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi 3

2. Farish A. Noor

The Discursive Construction of the Image of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi as the ‘Sleeping PM’ 39

3. Ooi Kee Beng

Managing Mahathir’s Mess 57

4. Clive Kessler

The Abdullah Badawi Premiership: Interlude or End-Game? 66

5. Mohamed Khir Toyo

‘Shadow Mahathir’: Interview with Dato Seri Dr Mohamad Khir bin Toyo 97

6. Zaid Ibrahim

‘Nice Guys Finish Last – Sometimes’: Interview with Dato’ Mohd Zaid Ibrahim 102 

Domestic Arenas of Transformation

7. Abdul Azim Zabidi

‘Before Malaysia’s Time’: An Interview with Dato Seri Abdul Azim Zabidi 111

8. Nik Nazmi

Nik Ahmad The Coming of Age of the Reformasi Generation 127

9. Wan Hamidi Hamid

Failure to Manage Fear: Abdullah and the Malays 138

10. Zulkifli Sulong

‘A Special Relationship’: PAS and Abdullah Badawi 154

11. James U.H. Chin

It Had to Happen: The Chinese Backlash in the 2008 General Elections 162

12. Rita Sim

Engaging ‘Many’ Malaysian Chinese 179

13. K. Kabilan

The Indian Dilemma: Sucked Up & Spat Out 198

14. Andrew Willford

Every Indian is Burning Inside 213

15. Arnold Puyok

Sabah’s Rise to National Prominence and Deepening UMNO Dominance 226

16. Mohd. Faisal Syam bin Abdol Hazis

Sarawak’s Political Dynamics 239

17. Anil Netto

Great Expectations, Unrealised Dreams: Human Rights and Abdullah Badawi 260

18. Bridget Welsh

Enabling and Empowering Malaysians 272

19. Liew Chin Tong

‘An Opposition’s Transformation’: Interview with Liew Chin Tong 294

20. Chua Sue-Ann

The Quiet PM and a Generation’s Coming of Age 312

21. Bridget Welsh

Abdullah Badawi’s Quiet Revolution in Political Institutions 321

22. William Case

Corruption Unplugged under Abdullah 339

23. Gerhard Hoffstaedter

Islam Hadhari: Making Moderate, Modern Muslims 354

24. Khaw Veon Szu

‘The Dream that Wasn’t’: Ethnic Relations under Abdullah 364

25. Edmund Bon Tai Soon

‘An Accidental Footnote’: Pak Lah’s Administration and the Judiciary 371

26. Oon Yeoh

Pak Lah: Friend or Foe of New Media? 384

27. Maria Chin Abdullah

Promises, Promises – Failed Justice 391

28. Jason Tan

Malaysian Culture under Abdullah 407 

Socio-Economic Dynamics and Obstacles

29. Ramesh Chander

Abdullah Badawi’s Economic Policies: Between Promise and Delivery 419

30. Edmund Terence Gomez

Promoting Entrepreneurial SME’s: Policies, Institutions and Incentives 433

31. Lim Teck Ghee

Abdullah Badawi, the NECC and the Corporate Equity Issue: View from a Personal Connection 457

32. Lee Kam Hing

Challenges amidst Diversity: Malaysian Chinese Business under the Abdullah Badawi Administration 481

33. Denison Jayasooria

Abdullah’s Socio-Economic Agenda: Reflections on the Relevance & Impact on the Indian Community 513 

Foreign Policy and Outreach

34. Khadijah Khalid

Malaysian Foreign Relations and Diplomacy under Abdullah Badawi 527

35. Joseph Chin Yong Liow

Mending Fences: Malaysia-Singapore Relations during the Abdullah Badawi Administration 551

36. Bridget Welsh

Smiles and Storms: Abdullah Badawi’s Navigation of US Waters 565

37. Kuik Cheng-Chwee

Malaysia’s China Policy under Abdullah: More Continuity than Change? 590

Bibliography 609

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