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Of the countries hit by the Asian economic crisis in 1997, Malaysia was the least hurt. The government was thus initially able to reject neo-liberal prescriptions, instead administering capital controls and corporate bailouts. However, despite short-term success, different kinds of foreign investors, top politicians and business elites, and mass-level constituencies gradually forced wide policy swings. Facing contrary pressures, the government fluctuated between ‘orthodox’ regimens of neo-liberal reforms and good governance agendas on one side and patronage and corrupt practices on the other. This article analyses these fluctuations, then speculates that re-equilibration may have recently have taken place.

Source: The Journal of Development Studies, Vol.41, No.2, February 2005, pp.284 – 309.

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