The Business Times notes the heartening win of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Malaysia. Mayalsia is another potential hotspot of Islamist violence, but it appears that the Malaysian people have chosen to fight back against the "green tide" of fundamentalism by electing Prime Minister Abdullah rather than his Islamist PAS competitor.
Even better, the new Prime Minister intends to fight corruption and increase corporate transparency throughout the country. One of the problems with developing economies in the region is the way in which governments either cannot or will not fight governmental corruption and increase the transparency of transactions in their borders. If Abdullah can achieve his goals of fighting corruption and increasing transparency it will give Malaysia a chance to become truly competitive in the global economy.
There is hope that Malaysia will follow the path of prosperity, openness, and hope, rather than embracing the closed and vicious doctrines of Islamic shari’a and religious fundamentalism.