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Malaysia's fragile democratic revival

The West must back efforts to pursue reforms and fight corruption

| Malaysia
A supporter wears a t-shirt showing Anwar Ibrahim and Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at a rally in Kuala Lumpur on May 16.   © Reuters

As the dust settles from the surprise victory of Malaysian opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) over the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), the only question that matters is: What's next?

The initial positive steps taken by PH under the leadership of the 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamed inspired hopes of a renewal of Malaysian democracy, and of potential ripple effects across a region in the grip of democratic backsliding.

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