Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Conclusions

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Conclusions

Article excerpt

All in all, 1997 was a year of growing pains and a balancing act for Malaysia with the multifaceted challenges of development and the needs of a plural society. It was a year dominated by the currency crisis and the haze problem. It was a year that Malaysians mourned the loss of a key national corporate figure; they also went through a debate on religion and society. The year also witnessed the Deputy Prime Minister's "trial by fire" as the acting Prime Minister for two months. It was a year in which Malaysia got much attention, not all of it welcome, from the outside world. In short, it was a year of adjustment and much introspection for Malaysians.

The currency crisis, which dominated the nation's attention for the second half of the year, gave no indication of abating at year's end. The crisis has driven home to Malaysians the country's vulnerability to global market forces. Ironically, the currency crisis may yet prove to be a valuable lesson in national unity and market reality for the country as a whole. …

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