Malaysia’s Opposition Ahead of GE-15: Strategies, Tactics, and Challenges
MALAYSIA STUDIES PROGRAMME
About the Webinar
Malaysia may be heading to a general election in a matter of weeks. As the country moves into its post-pandemic phase, many familiar aspects of campaigning such as face-to-face meetings and ceramah will re-appear. However, the upcoming 15th General Election will be different from previous polls in many ways, as structural changes have altered the ‘playing field’ of the election, with implications for how parties will organize, form alliances, and campaign.
Given Barisan Nasional’s previously unbroken six-decade rule, all previous elections were between the incumbent and an untested challenger. Following Pakatan Harapan’s 2018 victory and 21 months in power, the current opposition is no longer an unknown quantity. Similarly, Parti Pribumi Bersatu and PAS, the component members of Perikatan Nasional, have also been in power at the national level. Therefore, power is now being disputed by at least three coalitions – all of which have governed in the recent past.
Furthermore, following the December 2021 enactment of the Undi-18 and automatic voter registration reforms, Malaysia’s electorate now has 5.8 million new voters. This includes a new cohort of 18-20 year-olds as well as legions of previously disinterested or disenfranchised citizens. These new and overlapping constituencies constitute unfamiliar electoral terrain for Malaysia’s parties.
Reflective of Malaysia’s more fluid context, a range of new parties has been founded in recent years. In addition to Bersatu and Parti Warisan Sabah in 2016, newly-founded parties include Pejuang and MUDA, seeking to appeal to Malay and young voters, respectively. In addition to occupying voter band-width, these new operators further increase the potential for multi-cornered fights.
Last, the recently passed anti-party-hopping bill has strengthened the role of parties, by reducing the chances of MPs changing political allegiance. However, this bill does not strengthen coalitions as entire parties can leave one coalition for another. In a context where a strong majority is unlikely, this increases the opportunities of post-election bargaining between parties.
In order to explore how these changes are affecting how opposition parties plan to contest the upcoming election, this webinar brings together leaders from three opposition parties to learn about their strategies, tactics, and plans for campaigning.
About the Speakers
Teo Nie Ching, MP for Kulai, DAP National Publicity Secretary
Zaidel Baharuddin, Vice President, Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA)
Fahmi Fadzil, MP for Lembah Pantai, PKR Information Chief
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.
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.