Challenges Facing the New Malaysia

Malaysia in Transition Seminar Series


About the Seminar

Almost one year has passed since Malaysia’s sea-changing elections of May 9th. Despite predictions to the contrary, the reconfigured opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan, swept to power, with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at its head.

Over the last twelve months, the new ruling coalition has had to maintain internal cohesion, negotiate the allocation of ministerial portfolios, begin the process of institutional reforms, and reform the country’s complex finances.

Malaysia’s political context has undergone considerable changes, with: new leadership at the helm of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO); a budding alliance between UMNO and the Islamic party, PAS; and the potential collapse of Barisan Nasional’s multi-ethnic consociational model.

This seminar will assess the past year for the Pakatan Harapan administration, highlighting key achievements as well as shortfalls. From there, it will identify current challenges facing the administration, both internal to the coalition itself, as well as in Malaysia’s wider institutional context. The seminar will conclude by analyzing political developments on the ground, particularly the relationship between UMNO and PAS, as well as sentiments among Malay voters.

About the Speaker

YBhg. Datuk A. Kadir Jasin presently works alongside Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and oversees the media affairs of the Prime Minister’s Office. Born in 1947 in Kedah, YBhg. Datuk A. Kadir Jasin has been a journalist for almost five decades. He was trained in journalism at the South East Asia Press Centre, Kuala Lumpur; the Wellington Polytechnic, New Zealand; and the International Institute for Journalism, West Berlin.  YBhg. Datuk A. Kadir Jasin started his career as a journalist at Berita Nasional Malaysia (BERNAMA), the Malaysian National News Agency, in 1969. He was Group Editor in Chief at the News Straits Times Press (NSTP), Malaysia’s oldest news publication. Some of his notable works include the translation of Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir’s autobiography, ‘Doctor in the House’ from English to Bahasa Malaysia. Some of his recent publications include Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009), and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).


For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 23 April 2019.



Apr 24 2019


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2