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Mahathir Mohamad
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's government has begun implementing eight of its "10 promises in 100 days." But its sales tax plan, infrastructure review and other policies are sowing confusion. (© Nikkei montage/Source photo by Reuters)
Asia Insight

Mahathir government's mixed signals make for uneasy honeymoon

China, Singapore and Malaysians themselves all have questions

CK TAN, Nikkei staff writer | Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR -- From the moment the results of Malaysia's election became clear around dawn on May 10, experts pointed out that returning leader Mahathir Mohamad was about to open a Pandora's box of challenges and risks. The euphoria of the unprecedented change of power has yet to fade entirely, but the box is at least ajar.

Mahathir's new government has fumbled a series of policy announcements, sending mixed signals about how it intends to follow through on its election pledges. One example is the replacement of the unpopular goods and services tax with a sales tax starting on Sept. 1.

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