Malaysia. According to Countryaah website, national day of Malaysia is every August 31. The country’s prime minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad, who has dominated politics for over 20 years, announced during the summer that he would step down as head of government, finance minister and leader of the UMNO party in late 2003. The country’s deputy prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would then succeed him.
Mahathir has contributed greatly to making Malaysia a modern, centralized state with a successful economy, but he has also been criticized for an authoritarian leadership style.
Malaysia was significantly affected during the year by the effects of the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001. The country adopted a moderate attitude among the world’s Muslim countries. Mahathir quickly joined the international campaign against terrorism and relations with the United States improved. In the spring, when he called all suicide bombers terrorists, the tense relationship with Israel also improved. Several militant Islamists were arrested during the year for links to the al-Qaeda terrorist network.
The opposition accused Mahathir of using the fight against terrorism to win domestic political points against the Islamist PAS party. PAS’s popularity declined after the terrorist attacks and in the summer its strong leader, Fadzil Noor, passed away. His successor, Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang, is believed to be a more radical Islamist, further reducing the party’s popularity.
M’s attitude to the approximately one million illegal immigrants living in the country has hardened. An allowance was made against the many workers from neighboring countries who came to the country during the boom in the 1990s and who, after the 1998 Asian crisis, have not been as sought after.
Thousands of Filipinos and Indonesians were arrested and their homes or tents demolished. A new stricter immigration law came into force which, among other things, meant that prison and whip punishment could be punished against people who stayed illegally in the country. The law led to more than 300,000 foreigners leaving the country. A month later, the government went out and said it was prepared to re-host the guest workers after the country’s construction sector complained of labor shortages.
The country’s imprisoned former finance and deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, tried to appeal against the conviction for corruption that gave him six years in prison. In July he lost in the Court of Appeal.
Plans are being scrapped on a train route to Singapore
Malaysia and Singapore are scrapping an agreement from 2016 to build a 350 km long high-speed railway line between the countries. It is above all Malaysia that does not want to go ahead with the project that has become too expensive for the country’s corona – affected economy. The train would have shortened the travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore from today’s car journey of just over four hours to 90 minutes. However, the project has proved costly and the countries have not been able to agree on all the details.
Asian countries form record trade cooperation
Fifteen countries in Asia and the Pacific region sign the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) trade agreement. The members are some of the world’s largest economies: China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the ten Southeast Asian Asian countries. Together, they account for almost a third of the world’s total GDP. The cooperation needs to be ratified by nine countries, of which six are ASEAN members, in order to enter into force. India participated for a long time in the negotiations, but chose to withdraw in 2019 due to concerns about the consequences for domestic production. The United States stands outside the RCEP, which has been seen as a Chinese response to the major US trade initiative TPP, which when Washington withdrew from 2017 was renamed the CPTPP.