Hoping for the best for Malaysia

Most Singaporeans, if not all, hope that Malaysians can have a transparent, honest and fair government which can help improve their lives year after year ("Bersih 4 about corruption, not race"; Oct 9).

Singapore will benefit more from a prosperous and peaceful Malaysia. We are also grateful to the thousands of Malaysians who commute across the Causeway daily to work here and contribute to our economy.

However, the economic situation there looks bleak at the moment.

A reliable bellwether is the exchange rate, which has seen the Malaysian ringgit plummet to record lows against the Singapore dollar ("Ringgit sinks to new lows below 3.12 against Singdollar"; ST Online, Sept 29).

The political situation no doubt is one of the contributing factors.

I have Malaysian friends of different races and they are mostly on the same page about the US$700 million (S$970 million) believed to be from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) being traced to what was alleged to be Prime Minister Najib Razak's personal account.

They feel this is the last straw in their tolerance of money politics in Malaysia.

It is reasonable to expect that within Umno, those who benefited from the donations would naturally throw their support behind the existing leadership.

We should not underestimate the intelligence and fair-mindedness of the silent majority of the Malaysian electorate.

They may not have participated in Bersih 4, nor have they been vocal over social media.

But they could potentially unleash their inherent power at the next general election to replace the existing government. Much would depend on what Malaysia's opposition parties can offer its people.

Of course, Singaporeans would initially be circumspect if there is a change of government in our close neighbouring country.

But, over time, the bilateral relationship will revert to its normal state.

Ultimately, Malaysians will decide for themselves the political leaders, be they good or bad, that they demand and deserve.

I am sure our Government will respect and work with any legitimately elected Malaysian government for the mutual interests of both countries.

Edmund Lam (Dr)