The Straits Times says

Hopeful chance of stability for Malaysia

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Royal intervention in Malaysia has encouraged rival political parties to form a workable unity government in order to resolve the problems of an unprecedented hung Parliament resulting from the inconclusive general election on Nov 19. That intervention was a signal of the need for political stability, and came from a position of neutrality that the Malaysian King enjoys in the Constitution and which enables him to command not only the obedience but also the respect of citizens. The Malaysian system requires a strong degree of stability in order to deal with economic and other challenges facing the nation. Now, the government of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim must work at translating a fortuitous stability into good governance and good economics.

This is easier said than done. The Perikatan Nasional coalition, including Parti Islam SeMalaysia, refused to join a unity government. It means the substantial parliamentary numbers that the rival grouping enjoys will dilute the degree of political unity Malaysia could have enjoyed. The constellation of parliamentary forces as it stands gives Mr Anwar a two-thirds majority, which is a good advantage as he begins to re-engineer governing the country. However, his rivals would bide their time, no doubt to try and woo away disgruntled parliamentarians who find themselves sidelined in the new dispensation.

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