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Mahathir’s surprise: on the Malaysian elections

Mahathir Mohamad’s spectacular(बहुत शानदार) victory in Malaysia’s elections has the potential to spur democratic movements across Southeast Asia, where one-party rule and the military’s preeminence(प्रमुखता/प्राधान्‍यता से) are pervasive(व्यापक).Winds of change could be in the offing, with elections looming(उभरते/अस्पष्ट देख पड़ना) in a number of countries. A clear majority for the opposition Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) in the new federal(संघीय/संयुक्त) legislature(विधान मंडल)signals Mr. Mohamad’s resounding(शानदार/यश फैलाना) comeback. Outgoing Prime Minister Najib Razak’s overall economic track record was not sufficient(पर्याप्त/उचित) to salvage(नुक़सान होने से बचाना/मदद देना) the ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front), or its principal party, the United Malays National Organisation. Neither did his government’s stringent(कड़ी से कड़ी/सख़्त)curbs(प्रतिबंध/नियंत्रण करना) on media freedoms, last-minute meddling with electoral constituencies(निर्वाचन क्षेत्रों) and promises of generous handouts do the trick. This is a historic transition(परिवर्तनकाल/गुज़रना), with UNMO ousted from power for the first time. Mr. Mohamad had helped found UNMO, held power between 1981 and 2003, and in 2009 handpicked Mr. Razak for the big post. Now, the 92-year-old challenged the party that was once his, with the single objective of overthrowing his old protégé. Mr. Razak’s alleged involvement(भागीदारी/आर्थिक संकट) in a multi-million-dollar embezzlement scandal(गबन घोटाला) in a sovereign(प्रभुत्व-सम्पन्न/सर्व-श्रेष्ठ) wealth fund appears to have turned the popular mood. Investigations in several countries into investments in the fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, dented the country’s reputation as a regional tiger economy. The scandal and Mr. Mohamad’s strong Malay nationalist credentials gave the opposition the momentum it had long sought. Also, he forged an alliance with his arch-rival, Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the Alliance of Hope, now in prison(बंधन में डालना/कारागार).

Mr. Mohamad’s return to the Prime Minister’s office after more than a decade coincides with the recovery of global commodity prices to Malaysia’s advantage. A regional heavyweight in the 1980s and 1990s, he was known for grandstanding on Asian values of collective well-being over the West’s emphasis(महत्त्व/जोर) on individual rights. He may find little need for such sermons(उपदेश/नीतिवचन) on the world stage today, given the West’s diminishing(कम होनेवाला/घटता हुआ) appetite(भूख/चाव) to hold leaderships to account on their human rights record. In any case, Mr. Mohamed has recast himself, and his promise to uphold the rule of law will strike a chord among both his domestic audience and across the ASEAN belt. The region has come to regard lack of democratic accountability as stumbling blocks(बाधा/आड़) to consolidating(मजबूत/संघटित करना) gains from economic integration(एकीकरण/एकता). It remains to be seen how Mr. Mohamad honours his word to hand over charge to Mr. Ibrahim, whose return to politics is subject to a royal pardon. That would be a statesmanly gesture(इशारा/संकेत) to cap an epoch-defining victory.



Important Vocabulary

1.Spectacular(बहुत शानदार)
Synonyms: amazing, astonishing, astounding, breathtaking, daring
Antonyms: bad, common, expected, homely, inferior

2.Preeminence(प्रमुखता/प्राधान्‍यता से)
Synonyms: ascendancy, domination, predominance, supremacy, ascendance
Antonyms: impotence, incapacity, inferiority, powerlessness, weakness

3.Resounding(शानदार/यश फैलाना)
Synonyms: earsplitting, electrifying, emphatic, forceful, loud
Antonyms: incomplete

Synonyms: absolute, autonomous, unlimited, ascendant, chief
Antonyms: dependent, limited, restricted, minor, secondary

5.Prison(बंधन में डालना/कारागार).
Synonyms: confinement, jail, lockup, penitentiary, bastille

Synonyms: advice, exhortation, homily, lecture, lesson

Synonyms: attention, insistence, intensity, priority, significance
Antonyms: ignorance, lethargy, triviality, unimportance, incompetence

Synonyms: craving, demand, fondness, greed, hunger
Antonyms: apathy, disinclination, dislike, hate, hatred

Credit to The Hindu News Paper



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