Hearts versus Minds in the Struggle for Selangor


About the Webinar

Malaysia has poll fever again. This time, rather than parliamentary elections, voters in six states will be casting their ballots. For decades, almost all state governments held their elections together with parliamentary polls, but after 2018 this synchronization largely fell apart. The respective leaders of these six states sat out the November elections to go for their full terms.

The consensus is that the opposition Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition will retain its northern, rural, and Malay-majority strongholds of Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu. And, the Anwar Ibrahim-led Unity Government will prevail in the urbanized, diverse, and industrialized states of Penang, Negri Sembilan, and Selangor.

However, Selangor’s future is less certain. The state, Malaysia’s most populated and economically-important, is diverse and includes constituencies with very different characteristics. Much more than elsewhere, Selangor has a large, urbanized Malay voter base that has been more disposed to Pakatan Harapan which has been in power for 15 years. Yet, it is unclear how Selangor-based voters will react to the Unity Government comprised of the former foes PH and Barisan Nasional, led by Deputy President Zahid Hamidi. Will PH continue to enjoy their support, or will their votes swing to PN on August 12th?

Coming from different political and methodological starting points, these speakers will share their opinions on the upcoming polls in Malaysia’s political and economic ‘centre’.

About the Speakers

Ong Kian Ming is Director of the Philosophy, Politics and Economic (PPE) Programme at Taylor’s University, former Democratic Action Party (DAP) MP for Bangi, and former deputy minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute.

Marzuki Mohamad is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, International Islamic University Malaysia. He is also a Trustee of Institut Masa Depan Malaysia (Institut MASA), a local think-tank focusing on social, economic, and political research. He is the former Principal Private Secretary to the 8th Prime Minister of Malaysia, Muhyiddin Yassin.


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.

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


Jul 25 2023


9:30 am - 11:00 am

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