SINGAPORE (June 11): The change of government in Malaysia represents a decisive turning point for the country. After years of scandals, growing ethnic and religious discord, unhappiness over living conditions and worsening crime, the people of Malaysia came together to elect a reformist government. This promise of reforms has raised hopes that Malaysia’s great potential could be realised, even that it could emerge as a shining example for emerging economies, especially those in Southeast Asia and the Muslim world.
But, what does this watershed event mean for Malaysia’s southern neighbour, Singapore? Singaporeans have largely welcomed the dramatic developments in Malaysia but they are also concerned, especially after the cancellation of the high-speed rail (HSR) that was to have connected Kuala Lumpur with Singapore and the news that the Malaysian government would be reviewing another iconic joint project — the planned link between Bursa Malaysia and the Singapore Exchange. How will Singapore’s economy be affected by the changes in Malaysia?
The initial phase was always likely to be awkward