Adjusting the Bench

In evaluating Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's cabinet changes, "it is easy to picture a football coach fine-tuning his squad in advance of a big match," write Tim Healy and Santha Oorjitham in Hong Kong's centrist newsmagazine Asiaweek.

Mahathir is gearing up for national elections that must be called by June, 2000, but could come as early as August or September so that Mahathir can take advantage of good economic news, say Healy and Oorjitham. "And like any good team manager, the prime minister aims to field his best team when the contest finally comes."