Asian Insider: Malaysia’s election date set | China against the world

Dear ST reader, 

Malaysia has finally set the date for its general election, but the people’s muted sentiment towards their politicians’ latest battle for power is set to affect parties’ prospects at the polls. Over in China, President Xi Jinping has put his people in crisis mode even as his continuing rule is secure.

‘It’s us against the world’

China’s President Xi Jinping will make known this Sunday the handful of politicians joining him for the next five years on the Politburo Standing Committee, the Communist Party’s supreme leadership circle. At the country’s most important political meeting that started earlier this week, Mr Xi painted a picture of a dangerous, unstable world with a target on China’s back, making clear that he wants his people in crisis mode even as his continuing rule is secure.

In his opening speech, Mr Xi vowed that China would never renounce the use of force in its pursuit of reunification with Taiwan. He also warned that there would be no let-up in his fight against corruption. Meanwhile, China’s delayed third-quarter GDP data – only a day after the state planner painted a rosy picture of the country’s recovery – is fuelling speculation over the health of its economy

Watch: China being blockaded by other world players, says Xi 

Listen: Speaking of Asia podcast: Avoiding war over Taiwan 

Read more: Xi's China Dream - its appeal and dangers, by Bilahari Kausikan 

Also read: Rare protest in Beijing finds support among overseas Chinese


It’s a date!

It’s official – Malaysia’s general election will take place on Nov 19, with a two-week campaigning period. But the excitement that preceded the 2018 polls appears to be absent this time around. This will be the first federal elections that will see most state legislatures not follow suit. Pundits predict a hung Parliament, which could render Borneo’s parties as kingmakers. Our latest Asian Insider Special examines how voter fatigue will affect prospects at the ballot box.

Follow the latest on our Malaysia election site, or sign up here for our Malaysia edition newsletter.


Going all out

Hong Kong leader John Lee is seeking to set himself apart from his predecessors. At his maiden policy address this week, he announced aggressive policies to attract global talent to the financial hub and tackle the city’s perennial housing problem head on, going as far as to set out 110 specific performance indicators to track their progress, Elizabeth Law reports.

Read also: John Lee stresses global talent, security in first policy address


Doing it all

The United States last week set out an ambitious vision of American global leadership, essentially formalising its strategy of taking on China and Russia at the same time, competing with Beijing in practically all domains and yet still seeking its cooperation to tackle global problems. What exactly does this sweeping strategy entail, and how can Washington go about seeing it through? Charissa Yong breaks down the challenges ahead in this week’s Power Play column.

Delve deeper: The global fallout from US chip curbs on China


Made in India

India is scaling up domestic production of medical devices to cut back on its heavy reliance on such imports. The country’s medical device manufacturing has long been hampered by inadequate infrastructure, underinvestment in research and development, and multiple logistics issues, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to change all that now, Debarshi Dasgupta reports.


Hungry for home

Hawker-style stalls offering dishes such as nasi goreng and doughnuts made from Indomie instant noodles… In Australia, food events like Sydney Night Noodle Markets and Ramadan Nights Lakemba are a hit in a city where an influx of migrants over the years has had a dramatic effect on its dining preferences, Jonathan Pearlman writes in the latest dispatch of Letter from the Bureau.


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