Defining New Malaysia

Malaysia in Transition Seminar Series


About the Seminar

In April 2017, Liew Chin Tong spoke at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute on Black Swans in Malaysian politics. In that talk, he argued that the sentiment against former Prime Minister Najib Razak among the Malay ground was beyond repair and, as long as he remained in office, a change of government would be a likely outcome. One year out from Malaysia’s 14th General Elections, this was a view that was deemed by most as too optimistic. However, this was exactly what happened on May 9th, as Malaysians from all backgrounds, including a substantial proportion of Malay voters, opted to vote for change.

In this seminar, Liew Chin Tong will explain how he saw this sea-change coming, and why some factors, such as the increasingly urban nature of the Malay electorate and the importance of attracting votes from all communities to secure seats, will help us in our understanding of the events in May. From there, he will look forward, seeking to define the historic mission of Malaysia Baru in reshaping the country’s national identity, its institutions and economy, as well as its place in the region and beyond.

About the Speaker

Liew Chin Tong was appointed to Malaysia’s senate and government this year as the Deputy Defence Minister. He was a Member of Parliament for the Democratic Action Party from 2008 until 2018 and was previously the Executive Director of the Penang Institute.


For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 31 October 2018.


Nov 01 2018


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 2