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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

So what lies ahead for Malaysia with Trump's victory?


Despite pundits favouring Hillary Clinton to win the US presidential race, Republican Donald Trump beat the odds and is set to become the 45th President of the United States.
Trump even secured victory in battleground states such as Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.
But after it was apparent how Trump was leading the race, the US dollar sank and stock markets slammed into reverse.
Investors, on the other hand, are worried that Trump’s victory would cause global uncertainties.
But what is really in it for Malaysia, then?
Malaysiakini spoke to several analysts regarding the implications of the controversial billionaire’s victory on Malaysia.
Senior fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore Oh Ei Sun believes that Trump will have a more pragmatic approach when it comes to dealing with foreign countries.
“As a businessman, Trump would say whatever customers (voters) want to hear to win, he will cut whatever deals to stay in power,” said Oh.
James Chin, director of the Asia Institute at the University of Tasmania, on the other hand, said Trump will first concentrate on the US.
“We will see a more trade protectionist America and this will hurt small countries like Malaysia."
As for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) - which was inked earlier this year - both Oh and Chin believe that the trade pact is “doomed” as Trump had made it clear that he opposed the deal.
So what would come of the trade pact, then?
Oh pointed out how the US government had, in the past, signed many treaties in which the Senate did not ratify.
“So they just lie there without legal effect to the US,” said Oh.
Meanwhile, he also believes that Malaysia’s relation with China will remain strong, pointing to the stagnant US investment in Malaysia.
“And will remain so (stagnant) as long as US economy is still tanking.”
Chin, meanwhile, believes that Trump is less likely to confront China on the South China Sea issue.
“China will gain if the US is not interested in the South China Sea,” he said.
As for the US Department of Justice lawsuit - which seeks to recover more than US$1 billion worth of assets linked to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s brainchild 1MDB - Chin believes that the suit will go ahead.

“The DOJ is independent of the White House,” he pointed out.
The Republicans today scored a clean sweep by also securing control of both the upper and lower houses of Congress.
The latest presidential campaign had focused more on the character of the candidates than on policies.
Both Clinton and Trump had accused each other of being fundamentally unfit to lead the country.- Mkini

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