Malaysia: Political Transition and Implications for U.S. Policy
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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This report analyzes the political changes and economic developments in Malaysia and their implications for U.S. policy. The bilateral relationship between the United States and Malaysia is generally positive and constructive, particularly in the area of trade. Malaysia is a key trading partner of the United States and is an effective and cooperative regional player in the war against terror. The United States and Malaysia also have constructive education and informal defense ties including commercial access to Malaysian ports and repair facilities. Despite these positive dynamics, the bilateral relationship has at times been strained. Differences between the two nations stem from disagreements between Malaysias Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the United States over such issues as the internal suppression of dissent in Malaysia, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iraq, globalization, Western values and world trade policy. This report sets the political transition in Malaysia of 2003 within an historical context and discusses key aspects of the bilateral relationship including trade, counter-terrorism cooperation, defense ties and Malaysias external posture as it affects American interests. The report also examines the prospect that the political transition from Prime Minister Mahathir to his Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi holds the potential to improve bilateral relations between the United States and Malaysia.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science