Transition Politics in Southeast Asia : Dynamics of Leadership Change and Succession in Indonesia and Malaysia

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-06-30
  • Publisher: Intl Specialized Book Service Inc

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The issue of leadership change and political succession continues to resonate in Southeast Asia today, nearly a decade after the 1997 Asian financial crisis unleashed tectonic waves throughout the region. Amid a wider process of transition that also swept Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore, two countries -- Indonesia and Malaysia -- went through significant transfers of power from one generation to another. Suharto's fall in 1998 triggered a series of political successions before throwing up Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as president. Mahathir Mohamad stepped down in 2003 and handed over power to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, but not before a cataclysmic struggle with his once-anointed heir apparent, Anwar Ibrahim. This book looks at the politics of leadership change and succession in Indonesia and Malaysia, two countries which experienced the worst political fallouts from the Asian financial crisis. A former journalist who has had the advantage of covering these two countries over two decades, the author begins with an overview of the political transitions in Southeast Asia. The central focus of the book however covers developments in Indonesia and Malaysia through the tumultuous years up to the end of 2004. The book's underlying thesis is that the major leadership changes in Indonesia and Malaysia in recent years have not been, and are not taking place in isolation, but are in fact part of a long process of change that can be traced to the 1980s. Although the two primary political actors -- Suharto and Mahathir -- are out of office, they remain, in terms of impact, very much in the consciousness of the successor generation because of the defining roles that they had played and the political legacies that they left behind. "Transition Politics in Southeast Asia" provides a timely narration of the twists and turns of the 'politics of transition' in Indonesia and Malaysia" over a span of two decades. It also serves as a relevant backdrop to understanding the context and genesis of the political events that currently dominate the news and the landscapes in the two states. The result is a sense of contrast in how the two countries grappled with the common quest for effective leadership in the face of the demanding challenge of providing security, stability, economic development and progress.

Table of Contents

Southeast Asia in transitionp. 3
Struggle for succession beginsp. 17
Suharto turns to Islamp. 29
Suksesip. 33
The Habibie factorp. 37
"Suharto ill" rumours in Jakartap. 42
ABRI rallies behind Nasutionp. 45
Suharto gears up for 1998p. 49
Suharto's counter-offensivep. 52
The Wiranto factorp. 56
Habibie as president?p. 60
The endgame beginsp. 64
The politics of IMF-plusp. 69
IMF's kiss of deathp. 73
Last rites for the new orderp. 77
Suharto fallsp. 80
The Habibie presidencyp. 99
Power struggle in Golkarp. 105
Between a rock and a hard placep. 110
Race to succeed Habibiep. 116
President-in-waiting I : Abdurrahman Wahidp. 123
Gus Dur : me, controversial?p. 127
The 1999 parliamentary electionsp. 131
President-in-waiting II : Megawati Sukarnoputrip. 137
Can Megawati be president?p. 141
Gus Dur wins the presidencyp. 146
Amien Rais the kingmakerp. 155
Megawati takes overp. 161
The rise of Yudhoyonop. 167
How long will Yudhoyono last?p. 174
New urgency for succession : Mahathir's dilemmap. 183
Anwar rises as DPMp. 186
Prime minister-in-waiting?p. 190
Malaysia's new power equationp. 194
Anwar's regional diplomacyp. 198
Dr. M brings back Razaleighp. 200
Hand Tuah and Mahathir's warp. 203
Financial or political maelstrom?p. 207
Mahathir stands by Anwarp. 210
Mahathir sacks Anwarp. 213
Black eye for Malaysiap. 219
Abdullah takes over as no. 2p. 221
Mahathir worries about UMNOp. 226
Mahathir sidelines Daim's menp. 231
Mahathir's exit strategyp. 234
Najib ally as 2nd finance ministerp. 239
Mahathir's shock resignationp. 242
Dr. M sticks to quit decisionp. 246
Mahathir's next stepp. 250
Me, senior UMNO president?p. 256
Enter the Abdullah erap. 263
Abdullah's first dilemmap. 270
Najib : the man who could be PMp. 274
Court frees Anwar Ibrahimp. 279
Transition politics : new phase for Southeast Asiap. 291
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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