RSIS Webinar on “Malaysia’s Upcoming General Election: Players, Issues and Possible Outcomes”
Malaysia’s 15th General Election (GE15) is scheduled for 19 November 2022. Three main coalitions, viz. Barisan Nasional (BN), Pakatan Harapan (PH), and Perikatan Nasional (PN) will be racing against one another to lead the next government. While the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) with its coalition, BN, are currently expected to emerge as the largest bloc, they may not have enough seats and coalition partners to form the next government. The likely results are thus unclear, and a hung parliament is plausible.
This GE is taking place in uncharted waters with several new factors. Only three of the 13 states, viz. Pahang, Perlis, and Perak, are holding their state elections concurrently, rather than the usual 12. Around 5.8 million more new and young voters have been added to the electoral roll – a 40 per cent increase from the last general election in 2018. Heavy rains and floods are predicted. All this will influence voter turn-out, a key factor determining results.
Since the last GE in May 2018 and the collapse of the PH government in February 2020, Malaysian politics have been marked by unprecedented swings, fragmentation, and uncertainty, exacerbated by the traumatic health and socioeconomic impacts of Covid-19, from which the Malaysian society and economy are still recovering.
This webinar will explore voter sentiment and their likely participation and decision at the polls. It will also seek to uncover the key issues that would determine the GE results and formation of the next ruling coalition:
- Economic concerns, corruption and governance
- Race and religion
- Party and coalition allegiances and dynamics
- Role of East Malaysian voters and parties
Our two speakers will share their data, scholarship and analyses. Please join us for a fascinating discussion.
About the speakers
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.