Assessing Broad Structural Shifts in Malaysia’s Political Landscape
MALAYSIA STUDIES PROGRAMME WEBINAR
About the Webinar
Malaysian politics is undergoing deep-rooted changes such as the degree to which specific parties uncontestedly appeal to different ethnic groups, and the extent to which broad coalitions are able to be formed before elections. This new state of affairs will lead to corresponding changes in the way politics is carried out. This talk will look at two specific examples to explore these shifts.
First – in December 2020, the newly-formed Perak state government and opposition made history by achieving the first ever Confidence and Supply Agreement (CSA) in Malaysia. Under the terms of the agreement, all assemblymembers – including those in the opposition – gave unanimous support to the Chief Minister. This novel arrangement could mark a new chapter in Malaysian politics, previously marked by acrimonious inter-party relations.
Second, the Chinese electorate in Malaysia is broadly assumed to live in urban areas. However, a sizeable proportion of the country’s Chinese voters live in semi-urban or rural areas. These voters have different issues from their counterparts living in urban seats. Because the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) has worked with other members of Barisan Nasional (BN) to appeal to voters from different ethnic backgrounds, it has tended to do well in ethnically-mixed, rural constituencies. However, going forward, this electorate will increasingly be contested by BN, Pakatan Harapan, and even Perikatan Nasional -requiring these political groupings to rethink their messaging.
About the Speaker
YB Chang Lih Kang is a Member of Parliament for Tanjong Malim, Malaysia since May 2018. Prior to becoming an MP, he served as State Assemblyman (state legislator) of Perak state for two terms from 2008 to 2018. He is the Vice President of People’s Justice Party, led by Malaysian Opposition Leader, Anwar Ibrahim. Chang graduated from Malaysia Putra University in Bachelor of Civil Engineering. He obtained his Master degree in Public Administration from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.
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