Monday’s editorial writers consider the consequences of the weekend’s election in Malaysia, which saw the ruling coalition suffer its worst result for decades. In an editorial, the New Straits Times in Malaysia says that after decades of deference to the imperatives defined in the late 1960s, the Malaysian electorate has again sent home a call for greater pluralism in governance. The Australian, in an editorial, says Malaysians put themselves on the road to a new deal, adding that it will be a test of the nation's maturity to see if racial and other grievances are aired, post-election, in parliament and not on the streets. The Wall Street Journal says gains by the opposition show that voters understand there isn't an inherent trade-off between democracy and stability or democracy and economic growth. Mary Kissel, of the Wall Street Journal Asia, points out that the biggest gainer in the election was a party emphasising equality of opportunity for all ethnic groups, not only the majority Malays.
Also in today’s papers:
- Columnist Clive Crook writes that U.S. policymakers are unable to agree what they should do about the credit crisis. Adjusting bankruptcy laws to encourage writedowns and make repossession more difficult may do little to help right now, he says, but at least it makes no new demands on taxpayers.
- In an editorial on the current annual session of the National People’s Congress in China, the FT says the government’s two main policy concerns for 2008 are discernible: first, inflation, and second, to change the way China is run.
- In another editorial, the paper says both Democratic candidates for the White House appear to be hardening their position on trade.
- In a commentary on the global financial crisis, Wolfgang Münchau says monetary policy itself cannot be an effective part of the solution of this credit crisis.
- In an editorial, the Independent criticises President Bush for vetoing a bill that would have specified what CIA interrogation techniques can legitimately be used against suspected terrorists, saying the dishonesty of the President's position is glaring.
New York Times
- In an op-ed on what he calls McCain’s daunting task, William Kristol says Republicans need to understand that Democrats ultimately will unite behind Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, or behind a ticket with the two of them.
- Op-ed columnist Roger Cohen, writing from Nairobi, Kenya, says the main forces in the world today are the sweep of globalization and the tribal reaction to it, which lies in the assertion of religious, national, linguistic, racial or ethnic identity against the unifying technological tide.
- Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, attacks celebrities for their cocaine use, saying that cocaine used in Europe passes through impoverished countries in West Africa, where the drug trade is causing untold misery, corruption, violence, and instability.
- Columnist Andrew Rawnsley writes that an ugly war of attrition between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama could give the prize of the White House to John McCain.
Wall Street Journal
- In an editorial the paper questions the Democrats’ position on Hugo Chavez and his rival, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, saying Democrats on Capitol Hill are doing their best to help Chávez prevail.
- In an editorial on promises by the World Bank to get to the bottom of a corruption scandal involving bank projects in India, the paper says we are now getting a clearer picture of whether the bank is serious, and the early evidence isn't encouraging.
- Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, and Meglena Kuneva, European Consumer Commissioner, write on consumers’ rights in Europe, saying empowering consumers is an important step toward more growth, jobs, and prosperity for all.
- In an editorial on Beijing’s willingness to resume human rights dialogues with the United States, the paper says that for the Bush administration, the renewed dialogue could present a valuable opportunity to promote human rights in China, if several conditions are met.
- Deputy editorial page editor Jackson Diehl writes that Latin American nations and the Bush administration are beginning to consider what to do about allegations that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez forged a strategic alliance with the FARC aimed at Colombia's democratic government.
- CFR's Sebastian Mallaby says watching the global economy right now is a bit like watching the lead-up to the Iraq War. Whether American activism or European stoicism is vindicated, in the end, one thing is sure: the transatlantic rift looks certain to grow.
- In a column entitled “Surrendering the Rule of Law,” columnist Nat Hentoff considers the forthcoming trials of six Guantanamo Bay detainees and compares the process unfavorably to the post-Second World War Nuremberg trials.