Malaysia’s 15th General election (GE15), held on 19 November 2022, failed to produce a clear winner. The top two coalitions – Pakatan Harapan (PH) with 82 seats and Perikatan Nasional (PN) with 73 – have scrambled to reach a simple majority with other coalitions, chiefly, Barisan Nasional (BN) (30 seats) and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) (23 seats). The key player in BN, United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), has been deeply wounded and divided by the results, and is unlikely to regain a surer footing until at least after its upcoming party elections.
Barring a grand coalition formed by PH and PN, the next government is unlikely to enjoy a secure majority in parliament, and may even be a minority government dependent on a Confidence and Supply agreement with Opposition parties. If so, Malaysia will be facing an uncertain political landscape for at least the next few years.
In this context, this seminar will explore the following questions and more:
- How do the GE results reflect voter priorities and their views towards different parties?
- How effective was each coalition’s strategy and messaging?
- How will the formation of a post-election coalition government affect governance?
- What would be the GE’s longer-term impact on Malaysia’s socio-political landscape and economy?
About the Speaker
Ibrahim “Ben” Suffian is Programs Director at Merdeka Center, an opinion research firm which he co-founded. Ben is a prominent analyst and commentator on Malaysian politics, widely respected for his work at the Center. Through its public opinion surveys and analyses on politics and public policy, the Center seeks to improve the quality of public debate, widen public participation in the political process, and contribute to the formation of a more coherent civil society.
Meredith Weiss is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) and a Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York at Albany. She has published widely on social mobilisation and civil society, electoral politics and parties, and subnational governance in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on Malaysia and Singapore. Her current projects include research on local government and public-goods delivery, democratic representation and political elites, and youth politics in Southeast Asia.
Wong Chin Huat is Professor of Governance Studies at the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development, Sunway University. Trained at the University of Essex, he specialises in political institutions, covering parliamentary democracy, electoral system and decentralisation. He advises the Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (Bersih 2.0) and formerly served in the Malaysian Government’s Electoral Reform Committee.