Conference On Malaysia’s GE14: High Expectations, Heated Contests, Huge Stakes
Malaysia Studies Programme Seminar
About the Conference
Malaysians go to the ballot box on 9 May 2018 for the country’s 14th General Elections (GE14), five years and four days after GE13. While parliament has almost run a regular full term, unexpected political developments over the past two years have gripped Malaysia and the observing world. Prime Minister Najib Razak has weathered the 1MDB fallout and the ensuing challenges to his leadership, but he will need to ride out more stormy criticisms as campaigning heats up.
The country continues to record robust macroeconomic performance, but anxiety regarding the cost of living, increasing prices, and stagnant wages is pervasive. GE14 portends a colossal clash of coalitions, between the incumbent Barisan Nasional and opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH), both of whom place economic remedies at the forefront of their election manifestos. The PAS-led coalition Gagasan Sejahtera is a third – and largely unquantifiable – force in the election, promising to affect the outcome in unexpected ways.
BN heads into GE14 with distinct advantages, having presided over Malaysia’s steady economic transformation and the rollout of social programmes over the last six decades. Recent developments magnify its advantages. Freshly redrawn electoral boundaries, in particular, boost its prospects. However, BN faces a formidable challenge from PH, a newly formed and increasingly energized coalition, which unprecedentedly designated a prime ministerial candidate – none other than Mahathir Mohamad – and agreed to contest under one common logo. The strengths and flaws of the contending parties, their leaders and candidates, promise heated contests, with huge stakes on the line.
This is the third and final pre-GE14 conference organized by ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. Following on our previous events, we will provide updates and insights on political trends and electoral dynamics in the run-up to polling day, with focus on the states of Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan, Selangor and Johor, and on the Malay community whose vote will be especially decisive this time around. This conference also presents findings and analysis of the relationships between economic performance and election outcomes, and the potential impact of the FELDA vote.
For conference programme, please click here