27 December 2014   2 comments

More than 100,000 have been forced from their homes in severe flooding in Malaysia.  Flooding is not unusual in Malaysia in the Monsoon season, but these floods are unusually severe.  There is much criticism of the Malaysian government, stemming from a lack of preparedness, a tepid response, and the absence of the Prime Minster (who was playing golf with President Obama in Hawaii).  The Malaysian government has been much criticized in recent months, and the floods will only fuel the political discontent in the country.

Map of Malaysia

In an encouraging sign, Ukraine and Russian separatists in the eastern part of Ukraine have exchanged prisoners.   A 12-point peace plan is being floated to end the nearly year-long battle between the Kiev government and those who wish to break off of Ukraine and join Russia.   Nonetheless, tensions also increased as Kiev stopped transportation links to Crimea which has been illegally annexed by Russia.  It seems unlikely that Crimea will ever return to Ukraine.

A political crisis in Sweden has been avoided as the center-left government has reached a budget agreement with opposition parties that excludes the far-right Sweden Democrats Party.   The Sweden Democrats Party is strongly anti-immigrant and it seemed as if all the major parties had earlier agreed not to cooperate with it.  That arrangement collapsed month ago, and Sweden was confronted with the possibility of a snap election in order to pass a budget.  The revived agreement not to participate with the Sweden Democrats will undoubtedly be tested again.

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Posted December 28, 2014 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “27 December 2014

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  1. CNN has made it sound like the anger in Malaysia towards the government began with the response to the first lost plane. Is that accurate, or was it already building prior to that due to other factors?

    Or maybe an even better question is: can you recommend a good source for keeping up with that part of the world? I only read bits and pieces from the BBC and The Economist, and I feel like that’s not cutting it.

    Thank you for this blog!

    Lowly Reader, Not Student
    • Malaysia has been going through very difficult political times. Much of the discontent has to do with preferential employment policies which favor ethnic Malays over the Chinese population. There is also a sense of corruption in the government which led to large students protests last year. It is hard to get good information on Southeast Asia. An additional resource might be the Asia Times which is published in Hong Kong and is available online.

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