El hombre que hizo Malasia

Una vez más, la lengua áspera de Mahathir Muhammed, el líder de Malasia, ha generado controversias. Pero su largo mandato (que terminará el 1 de noviembre) ha consistido en mucho más que comentarios virulentos, sostiene Wang Gungwu, uno de los analistas en cuestiones estratégicas más destacados del Sureste de Asia.

El Dr. Mahathir Muhammed se retira después de más de 22 años de ser el líder de Malasia y de la Organización Nacional de la Unidad Malaya (ONUM). La Malasia moderna y reluciente de hoy sería inimagible sin Mahathir y la ONUM, de donde también salió Tunku Abdul Rahman, el primer Primer Ministro del país. Al igual que Mahathir, el cuarto primer ministro de Malasia, Tunku encabezó al gobierno y al partido durante más de 20 años. Las administraciones que duran una generación parecen haber resultado sumamente provechosas para el país desde la independencia.

En efecto, la continuidad que esos dos hombres le dieron es el secreto del éxito de Malasia como Estado multicultural con un rápido desarrollo. Ambos comenzaron sus carrreras como nacionalistas que buscaban promover los derechos de la mayoría malaya despúes de la salida de los británicos. Pero también reconocieron que las grandes y económicamente poderosas minorías china e india, entre otros grupos, eran esenciales para el desarrollo del país, y que había que convencerlas de que aceptaran como propio el nuevo Estado encabezado por los malayos.

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