Malaysia's 2004 Elections: Mahathir's Successor Succeeds. Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. Volume 3, Number 5, April 2004
ASIA-PACIFIC CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES HONOLULU HI
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Malaysias March 2004 election was a landslide endorsement of the leadership of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who, the previous October, had succeeded Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Prime Minister of Malaysia. These elections, for both parliamentary and state-level seats, resulted in the ruling coalition winning 90 percent of the national seats and securing majorities in all but one state-making it one of the largest election victories in Malaysian history. The magnitude of this election victory enhances Prime Minister Abdullahs power base within the ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation UMNO. Abdullah has already tried to differentiate his leadership by tackling corruption and by avoiding Mahathirs undiplomatic outbursts. But for the most part, Abdullahs administration will provide continuity in key policy areas. Domestically he will preserve an emphasis on economic growth and Bumiputera indigenous favoritism, while in foreign policy Malaysia will maintain substantial relations with the United States as well with ASEAN countries and countries from the wider region.
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