Malaysia opposition set to rule in five states

Opposition parties were getting ready to take power in five of Malaysia's 13 states on Tuesday, putting the country in uncharted waters with the government facing real competition for the first time.

Malaysia opposition set to rule in five states
The Islamist Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) will lead or share power in four states, including three -- Kedah, Perak and Kelantan -- that share borders with Thailand.

A government led by the Democratic Action Party (DAP), backed mainly be the ethnic Chinese minority, was sworn into office on Tuesday in the industrial hub state of Penang in a quiet ceremony witnessed by sombre-looking civil servants who have only ever worked for the long-ruling National Front coalition.

PAS and the DAP have vowed to review federal projects on the drawing board in their areas, but said would not stand in the way of projects that were already approved and were beneficial to the people, and have warned they would not tolerate cronyism.

Malaysia's politics of patronage, whereby state contracts are given to businesses aligned with ruling-party interests, has nurtured a powerful political-business establishment whereby contracts are often awarded without open, competitive tenders.

Last Mod: 11 Mart 2008, 16:35
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