Date: 05 Sep 2018
Time: 10.00 am - 11.30 am
Venue: ISEAS Seminar Room 2
MALAYSIA STUDIES PROGRAMME
Malaysia in Transition Seminar Series
Malaysia’s 14th General Election: Did a Malaysian Tsunami Occur? Measuring the Impacts of Ethnicity and Urban Development on Electoral Outcomes
About the Seminar
The 14th Malaysian general elections (GE14) resulted in a regime change which has not occurred since the country’s independence from British colonial rule. While ethnicity has been an overriding factor in the determination of electoral outcomes in Malaysia and other developing countries, urbanisation has in recent years been considered a competing factor that could weaken the effects of ethnicity. Using data from the GE14, we measure and compare the impacts of both factors statistically, controlling for other variables that could influence our results. We also evaluate the change in impacts of these two factors across time using longitudinal data pooled from the last two elections. Contrary to the general political view that the poor performance of the then-ruling National Front (BN) coalition was a result of a Malaysian tsunami, our results indicate that ethnicity still played a significant role in explaining the electoral outcome, whereby the BN’s support among the Malays remained considerable, albeit slightly weaker than before. We confirm this result by using a machine learning tool which predicts the BN winning a parliamentary seat if Malays comprise greater than 72% of the seat’s electorate. Therefore, the notion that ethnic politics is dead and buried remains premature.
About the Speaker
Gary John Rangel is currently a Senior Lecturer in Finance at Universiti Sains Malaysia. Previously, he was Lecturer at Monash University Malaysia from 2012 to 2017. He obtained his PhD degree in Finance from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 2010. His main research interests include real estate finance, behavioural finance, empirical corporate finance, and electoral outcomes. His research papers have been presented at several international finance and real estate conferences, and has published in journals such as Journal of East Asian Studies, Asian Journal of Social Science, Capital Markets Review and Computers in Human Behavior. Previously, he was a Finance Manager for five years and Business Planner for 11 years at Altera Corporation.