The cracks have been apparent since the March election when the ruling coalition could only muster a relatively narrow 30-seat majority. Since then Malaysian politics have been simmering towards an inevitable boil which will either spill over towards a new dawn or burst into another failed political puff.

These are the tribulations of a politically closed political system, i.e., cyclical crossroads which any reticent regime must face in a bid to sustain a monopoly of power. Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is no Mahathir Mohamad. The former prime minister was cut from the same cloth as our own Soeharto albeit with different tailoring — not as ruthless but just as shrewd. Read in full