£19.99 | $34.95

1 November 2003
ISBN: 9781842774656
236 pages


Asia, Politics, Development

Also available as Hardback

Beyond Mahathir

Malaysian Politics and Its Discontents

Khoo Boo Teik

A timely response to the planned retirement in October 2003 of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Beyond Mahathir poses vital questions about Malaysian politics after Mahathir in judicious ways.

The author examines Malaysia's long-term social transformation, the global disruptions of July 1997 and 'September 11', key leaders' calculations of power, and the pitfalls of succession that intersected to produce the political dramas of Mahathir's final decade in power.

Organizing arguments around the critical but unstable fortunes of a 30-year nationalist-capitalist project, the author brings to life Mahathir's predicaments, contradictions in Anwar Ibrahim's career, Reformasi's creative dissent, Parti Islam's religious dissidence, and the cultural imperative behind the rainbow coalition of the Alternative Front.

Beyond Mahathir is an instructive guide to momentous events that revolved around competing conceptions of what the future portends or should portend for Malaysia, and the contested ways of getting there.

Academically rigorous, yet aimed at engaging the lay reader, the book retains the elegant and jargon-free style of the author's widely acclaimed Paradoxes of Mahathirism: An Intellectual Biography of Mahathir Mohamad.


Reviews of the author's previous book, Paradoxes of Mahathirism: An Intellectual Biography of Mahathir Mohamad, (OUP, 1995).

'...a genuinely enlightening biography. This is a well balanced study, meticulously documented, thoughtfully analyzed, detached to a fault and interesting throughout. 'Paradoxes of Mahathirism' is a pioneering book, which no one interested in Malaysian politics should fail to read.' - Journal of Malaysian Studies, Vol XIII, No 2, Dec 1995

'[This] intellectual biography...is a masterpiece of analysis, written with both sensitivity and panache.' - Bulletin of SOAS, Vol 62, 1999

'The book presents a thorough and lucid account of Mahathir's political ideas...Khoo provides persuasive explanations for Mahathir's ideological perspective and justifications for his public policy pronouncements...The scholarship is thorough and comprehensive with a writing style that is crisp and lucid. The book should appeal to a wide public readership and be of special interest to area specialists. It is a very worthy addition to a large and growing shelf of excellent works on Malaysian politics and public policy issues.' - American Historical Review, Vol 103, No 2, 1998

'Khoo Boo Teik's...study [is] a valuable source of knowledge and a good starting point for any further inquiries into the Malaysian political scene. [His] work [is] rich in factual information, in thorough analysis of circumstantial backgrounds and in subtle yet convincing judgements...Suffice it to say that reading 'The Paradoxes of Mahathirism' can be regarded as a must for any observer of Malaysia's social, economic and political scene at present or in the years to come...reading Khoo Boo Teik is neither tiresome, nor boring. Indeed, his language is in the best tradition of the English historical literature.' - Archiv Orientalni 64, 1996

'...a uniquely lucid and convincing exposition of what is unquestionably a most complex and enigmatic political career... One might even say that Khoo's book will serve as the benchmark reference for all subsequent scholarly work on the political life of Mahathir' - Singapore Business Times, Weekend Edition, July 29, 1995

Table of Contents


1. From Paradoxes to Crises
A Question of Legacy?
The Politics of a Project

2. The Projection of a Vision
Three Turning Points
Nationalism and Regionalism: Vision 2020 and 'Asian Values'
Hegemonic Interlude: The 1995 General Election
The Futurism of the Multimedia Super Corridor

3. The Anarchy of the Market
Gambling With Money
Depreciation, Devaluation and Disinvestment
Rescue, Recapitalisation and Reflation
Bringing the Crisis Home

4. The Inventions of Anwar Ibrahim
Between Praise and Damnation
On the Way to the Assembly
The Improbability of Succession
Four Phases and a Contradiction

5. Reformasi and the End of UMNO's Hegemonic Stability
The Meanings of Reformasi
The Trials of Anwar Ibrahim
Barisan Alternatif and the 1999 Election
The End of UMNO's Hegemonic Stability

6. The Cultural Imperative of Coalition Building
DAP and the Pendulum of Minority Politics
The Rise and Rise of PAS?
Keadilan between Vision and Fulfilment
The Cultural Imperative of Coalition Building

7. The Coming of the Second Dilemma
Limits to Personalised Hegemony
Ambitions, Ideals and Discord
Rumours of an Islamic state
Mahathir's Final Dilemma



About the Author:

KHOO, Boo Teik, BA (Rochester), Master of City Planning (MIT), PhD (Flinders), is Associate Professor and Deputy Dean in the School of Social Sciences, University Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, Malaysia.
He is the author of Paradoxes of Mahathirism: An Intellectual Biography of Mahathir Mohamad (Oxford University Press, 1995) which had its 5th impression issued in 2001. Khoo is co-editor (with Francis Loh Kok Wah) of Democracy in Malaysia: Discourses and Practices (2002). He has also published academic essays in refereed journals and edited volumes, articles in the international press, and social and political commentaries.
An Associate of the Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Perth, Khoo is a member of the editorial boards of The Australian Journal of Political Science, the USM's Kajian Malaysia (Malaysian Studies) and the Penang-based NGO publication, Aliran Monthly. Presently he is also engaged in collaborative research on Southeast Asian politics and social change with colleagues working in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand.