Coalitions, COVID-19, and Change in Malaysia


About the Webinar

Drawing on surveys of public opinion carried out by the Merdeka Centre over the past three months, this presentation will share findings regarding the key issues facing Malaysia at the current juncture.

First, the presentation will look at opinions among Malaysians regarding the change in government that took place in March. The Pakatan Harapan coalition, voted into power in May 2018, was ousted by a new grouping, Perikatan Nasional, which is comprised of former Pakatan Harapan member Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, the United Malays National Organization, the Parti Se-Islam Malaysia (PAS), and supported by Gabungan Parti Sarawak. Surveys carried out in the first part of the year indicated an important decline in Pakatan Harapan’s popularity, but this trend is not uniform across all segments of the population. Likewise, opinions of the new administration are not homogenous across different sectors, indicating a base of support but also considerable opposition.

Second, perceptions of the Malaysian government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be analyzed. The Movement Control Order imposed by the Perikatan Nasional administration was sweeping in nature, and has entailed considerable economic hardship. In order to counteract the lockdown’s impact, the government has injected a considerable quantity of resources into the economy. While there is broad support for the economic sacrifice required at this juncture, there are also important differences in different parts of the country, and questions about the timing and duration of the planned economic stimulus package.

The presentation will conclude with an analysis of the implications for the ruling administration’s stability in the medium term and Malaysia’s political scenario in the longer term.

About the Speaker

Ibrahim Suffian is a co-founder and programs director of Merdeka Center for Opinion Research, a leading public opinion polling and political surveys organization in Malaysia. Through Merdeka Center, Ibrahim has been involved in organizing surveys in Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Singapore and Myanmar.

Ibrahim received education from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and obtained an MBA from the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. Ibrahim was a World Fellow at Yale University in 2011.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

Limited spaces only, register early to avoid disappointment.

To join the webinar,
1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
2. Set up a Zoom account, using the following link:
3. Click on the unique link in your email.

For the best experience, please mute your microphone. If you have questions for the speaker, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


Jun 05 2020


10:00 am - 11:30 am