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 83 seats and Perikatan Nasional (PN) with 74 — 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.
The Malaysia Programme at RSIS hosted a webinar titled “Malaysia’s 15th General Election Results: What It Means and Portends for the Future” on 25 November 2022. The webinar featured Dr Meredith Weiss, Visiting Senior Fellow at RSIS and Political Science Professor at the State University of New York at Albany; Mr Ibrahim “Ben” Suffian, Programmes Director of Merdeka Centre; and Dr Wong Chin Huat, Professor of Governance Studies at the Jeffrey Sachs Centre on Sustainable Development, Sunway University.
During the webinar, Dr Weiss spoke about how the results and her research uncovered the prevalence of race-based sentiments towards parties, economic priorities of the electorate, the discourse of youth-centrism and the “Tiktokisation” of political rhetoric. Mr Suffian noted the shift of the Malay vote from BN/UMNO to PN. He discussed the voting factors amongst the electorate, the implications on policies and the emerging realties of Malaysia’s political landscape. Dr Wong discussed the future of Malaysia’s democracy and the possible impact of decentralisation of Malaysian politics.
The webinar was attended by researchers and members of the public.