The recent elections in Malaysia have seen the Barisan Nasional lose power after 61 years. One of the more surprising facets was the comeback of the 92 year old former Prime Minister, Mohamed Mahathir, who had come out in retirement to lead the opposition.
During his reign as Prime Minister, between 1981 and 2004, Mahathir routinely cracked down on labour and human rights activists via the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA), as well as running a government based on economic and political patronage.
APC talks to Irene Xavier, a long time activist who herself was jailed under the ISA by Mahathir, on why Mahathir is now seen as a democratic reformer and was co-opted to lead the opposition.
Asia Pacific Currents provides updates of labour struggles and campaigns from the Asia Pacific region. It is produced by Australia Asia Worker Links, in the studio of 3CR Radio in Melbourne, Australia
Image: Wikimedia - Malaysian election results
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