Prime Minister Badawi's policies in 2006 were accompanied by an uninvited yet hardly ignorable critique, voiced by none other than his predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad. Apart from this controversy, the provisions of the Ninth Malaysia Plan, inter-ethnic relations, and price hikes for fuel occupied minds and media.
During 2005, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi asserted his grip on domestic affairs, but his government is still linked with perceptions of ineffectiveness. Economic growth slowed and the ringgit was unpegged from the U.S. dollar, yet remained stable. In foreign relations, Malaysia played a proactive role.