In Malaysia, government social spending is on the decline while policy debates on critical issues such as UBI remain suspended.
Land reclamation initiatives seek to side-step national regimes which had previously constrained the autonomy of local governments.
The 'new Malaysia' challenge is to redefine its trade and industrial policies, and to work out where the new sources of growth and tax revenue can be, more so after the GST's removal.
Will current levels of caution on Bumiputera policies persist, or will the new government seize the opportunity to reform? Will it remain fearful of being accused of sidelining Malays, or will it make Malays more capable and competitive?
Reforming Bumiputera policy is a colossal project both rival coalitions are reluctant to tackle. Yet the political consensus, while striving to transcend ethnic policies in rhetoric, misconstrues and ignores the embedded preferential regime.
The TPP is diametrically opposed to the government's economic philosophy. What are Premier Najib Razak's options?
Can the Malaysian government implement the much needed economic reforms?
The answer to how Malaysia is doing depends on who is being asked, and when.