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Malaysia in transition

Malaysians look to Mahathir to bring back the good old days

Nostalgia played a role in the country's first-ever change of government

Current and former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad back in 1998: Malaysians expect Mahathir to return the country to the high economic growth it enjoyed in the past.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- At age 92, Mahathir Mohamad has become Malaysia's prime minister again after a 15-year hiatus, having led the opposition Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition to topple the government of Najib Razak.

The election result reflects popular anger at Najib's authoritarian leadership and alleged corruption. Although Mahathir was arguably more authoritarian than Najib as prime minister from 1981 until 2003, voters may have returned him to power nonetheless for an unexpected reason -- nostalgia.

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