Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz has published a commentary on the recently held elections in Malaysia. The ruling coalition, which ruled the country for more than sixty years, was defeated by the opposition alliance. In recent years Prime Minister Najib Razak became increasingly authoritarian, analysts alleged. The opposition alliance was led by former Prime Minister 92-year old Mahathir Mohamad, who governed the country for more than two decades with an iron fist. Besides, he previously led the ruling party.

Professor Riaz, in his commentary titled, ‘The emphatic message from Malaysia’ published in the Daily Star, argues that the victory of Malaysian opposition is a positive message for democrats globally, particularly when we are witnessing a decline of democracy around the world. Riaz, explains that although the opposition is led by a former autocratic leader, it’s not an endorsement of his previous economic policies or his style of governance. Instead this a message of change.

Riaz writes that the messages from Malaysian are that kleptocracy even in the name of development is unacceptable, that a non-inclusive political system must go, and that repression and machination have an expiration date too. He cautions, this message should not be lost on us.