Malaysia is an increasingly important player. Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is now Asia's longest-serving leader. This work on Malaysian politics offers an analysis of the Mahathir project, examining how Mahathir has, over 20 years, translated the basis of the ruling bloc's legitimacy from one of coercive domination and ethnic card-playing into a more consensual form of hegemonic support. It argues that Mahathir has made considerable progress in building consent.
Since the 1997 economic crisis and purging of Mahathir's former deputy Anwar Ibrahim, new problems have appeared within the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition and its leadinf g party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO). As Mahathir seeks to rebuild ideological support other parties have mounted a counter-hegemonic alternative to the prevailing project. This book provides an understanding of these contending forces and the new engagement of ideas taking place within Malaysia's changing political landscape.