SINGAPORE (Dec 31): The arc of great stories often traces a glorious rise, a dramatic fall from grace, followed by a bittersweet redemption. Malaysia’s general election on May 9 was arguably its day of redemption, after rapid economic develop­ment in the 1980s and 1990s, followed by a long period of social and political malaise in the wake of the Asian financial crisis (AFC). After nine years under former prime minister Najib Razak, who presided over the misappropriation of billions of dollars, Malaysian voters defied political pundits and polls and booted out the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition that had ruled the country for more than six decades.

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