The optimism deficit: what’s making Malaysians so unhappy?

It’s December 2016 in Manila’s tech-hub, Bonifacio Global City.
People are having brunch at Wildflour – a hip cafe-cum-breakfast joint – before facing the daily grind. Someone in the crowd returns ashen-faced from the money changers: “The ringgit has fallen 10 per cent against the Philippine peso.”
The others chip in:
“Yeah it’s really dropped against the rupiah.”
“…and the dong!”
There’s a moment of silence as the…