Last week's Malaysian election result is sending shock waves across the region, not least in China. The surprise outcome is now likely to see a partial reversal of Malaysia's recent ardently pro-Chinese foreign policy. It also ought to act as a wake-up call for Beijing and prompt a rethink of China's aggressive US$1 trillion (S$1.34 trillion) Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
There were many causes of opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad's May 9 victory over former prime minister Najib Razak. But China's growing economic clout in Malaysia, and the corruption allegations that came with it, was undeniably a contributory factor.