A year ago when Donald Trump’s bid for the Republican party’s nomination for the US Presidency race was making the news, I told colleagues, friends and family that it was a good development. My reason was simple:
The United States needed change and Trump as a business man would help shake things up and could bring change for the better. I made the argument that the US needed a new leader who was not a professional politician and was not tied up with the military lobby which has made the US responsible for many of the wars and atrocities all around the world, especially in Vietnam and the Middle East.
In my view, running the country is somewhat akin to running a very big business. To run the country well calls for business skills and having to take into account the use of capital, technology and labour with the ultimate aim of making gains and profits and avoiding losses. Of course we know that state policy has to take into account other aspects like foreign policy, environmental concerns, education, trade, etc. But all of this also enters into the scenario of the big businessman.
I come from the generation that has seen the horrors of US inflicted wars and bombing causalities in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The US military continues to engage in direct or proxy wars which have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in the Middle East today.
Record shows that the US had let off as many as if not more bombs in Vietnam than they did in the 2nd World War. Millions of Vietnamese were killed for no reason. How would you feel if you were Vietnamese?
The US military has killed millions of Muslims in the Middle East. I can imagine many Muslims whose parents were killed, would vow to take revenge to kill some Americans. That is why there are so many suicide bombers.
Most of the countries in the world, including Malaysia have politicians as their Presidents or Prime Ministers. If politicians had to go the frontline, there would certainly be no wars.
So my opinion was that Donald Trump had every reason to be running for the nomination. Also that he should be taken seriously since he had proven himself to be one of the sharpest business tycoons in the US.
Despite all the anti-Trump sentiments already going around at that time, I could see from the response of many ordinary Americans that Trump was seen as an anti-establishment outsider who would shake up the established order.
Hence, I was not surprised that against all odds, including opposition from his own Republican party, he defeated Hillary Clinton and will be the US President for the next four years.
The key question now is what does this mean for Malaysia, ASEAN and the rest of the world. If we go by his election speeches and policy statements, we can expect the US to retreat into a less interventionist foreign policy. This to me is probably the best outcome of the Trump triumph if it brings peace through a less interventionist United States.
I hope that the Trump era will see the US concentrate on its problems back home and bring about a more peaceful world. If Trump, Putin and Xi Jinping can sit down together and agree on supporting a new era of international peace and harmony, I am sure that the whole world will benefit.
Perhaps our Prime Minister, Najib Razak, can use his Islamic clout and golfing buddy Trump to bring this meeting about in Kuala Lumpur. What a coup for him and Malaysia if this happens!
Trump Effect on Malaysian and Global Economy
Many investor friends are asking me what the Trump presidency means for business. I have advised them that Trump is a businessman rather than a soldier or professional politician. This means that he will be better for business rather than Hillary Clinton.
I will make a bold prediction here that I expect the US stock market to be stronger during the next 6-12 months and that the Malaysian stock market and other Asian markets will also strengthen as a result of the US economic recovery.
History has shown that when the Dow goes up almost all the stock markets in the world including KLCI go up.