Can our economy withstand a political transition?

loading Azrul Azwar, Anwar Nasution, Woo Wing Thye, Wong Chin Huat and Penang Institute CEO Zairil Khir Johari.

The highly anticipated 13th General Election (GE13) was finally given a date, May 5, 2013 and it is slated to be the most competitive election in Malaysian history. The question that most citizens are asking with regard to GE13 is: will our economy be able to withstand a change in government?

As political scientist Dr Wong Chin Huat said, this uncertainty is a natural response to the situation we are in. “The electoral authoritarian regime has its legitimacy based on economic performance. So it’s natural to wonder: if the regime does change, will economic prosperity still continue?”

With that in mind, a forum titled “Economic Management During Political Transition: Experiences from Eastern Europe and East Asia” was held in early March to address concerns and show citizens that, with some regime changes, the new political forces in most of these countries initiated a new pattern of dynamic economic growth that was more socially-inclusive and environmentally-friendly.

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