Malaysia’s GE-15: Capturing Hearts, Cobbling Alliances, Crafting Power


About the Conference

Malaysia’s 15th General Election was unique in many ways. Called at a time of political instability, the election saw three major national coalitions, with a plethora of new parties and candidates, vying in multi-cornered fights for the affection of the rakyat, including six million new voters. Fluidity of allegiances, a feature of Malaysia’s political landscape since 2020, added to the uncertainty over when and how a majority might form the next government.

Polling day on 19 November 2022 delivered a dizzying mix of expected and surprising results, the most consequential of which were: Pakatan Harapan suffered a net loss of parliament seats but largely defended its urban strongholds; Perikatan Nasional swept the Malay heartlands and made inroads across the Peninsula; UMNO-Barisan Nasional plummeted to its worst ever electoral outing; Gabungan Parti Sarawak held strong while Sabah became more fractured. After five days of a hung parliament, four coalitions and multiple parties aligned behind Anwar Ibrahim and his PH-led government, which now contends against an all-Malay PN opposition.

The patterns and determinants of the vote, substance and conduct of campaigns, and formation of coalitions pose intriguing questions. At this conference, researchers will present observations, findings and analyses of GE-15 on a range of topics. We consider important developments, in coalitional politics, institutional reforms, and economic conditions that shaped the election. We assess the impact of the millions of first-time young voters whose partisan inclinations were less known. We unpack the roles of track records and party platforms, election manifestos, and mainstream and social media in influencing the vote. We also focus on interest groups, in view of intensified competition in Malay-majority constituencies, contemporary shifts in political Islam, and trends among minority voters. Lastly, we zoom in on selected states of Peninsula Malaysia, and Sarawak and Sabah, drawing out important regional outcomes of GE-15.

This conference is supported by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Click here for the Programme (updated as of 22 Mar).


This two-day Conference will be delivered both online and on-site at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute.

Attending the Event In-person at ISEAS

To join the event in-person at ISEAS, please register via the ISEAS mobile app, available on iOS and Android via the Apple or Play store. Search “ISEAS” to find or scan this QR code.

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Seating capacity is limited. Do register early to avoid disappointment.

Attending the Event Virtually via Webinar

To join the event virtually at the specified date and time using your internet devices, please register here to receive your unique login link for the webinar via the zoom platform.

Day 1 (Tuesday, 4 April 2023) – Please register here.

Day 2 (Wednesday, 5 April 2023) – Please register here.


Apr 04 - 05 2023


ISEAS Seminar Room 1 & 2 / Webinar