Power to the people

The correlation between the changes going on in Asian political circles and Asian business circles bears scrutiny

Since the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and 1998, established political regimes across the region have been dismantled or have fallen apart. President Suharto's 30-year reign of autocracy came to an abrupt halt in Indonesia. Changes of government have occurred in Thailand, South Korea and India. Most recently, the ousting of the Kuomintang government in Taiwan is nothing short of a revolution. Now even officials from government party UMNO in Malaysia feel that their removal from office is a possibility.

These changes to government have their roots in the forces that were unleashed in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The forces - namely demands for accountability, transparency and decency - are the...

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