Political Coalitions and Malaysia’s Next General Election: Compete or cooperate? (It’s complicated)
MALAYSIA STUDIES PROGRAMME
About the Webinar
Malaysia’s 15th General Election (GE15) is widely speculated to be held later this year, although there is a possibility that parliament will only be dissolved only when the current term expires in June 2022. Political dynamics between and within coalitions are subjects of speculation and discussion in the run-up to GE15. There is talk of UMNO-PAS cooperation in the state of Selangor where Pakatan Harapan is strong but no talk of such cooperation in Kelantan and Terengganu where UMNO and PAS are in intense competition. There have been calls for some level of tacit cooperation between Perikatan Nasional (PN) and PH, especially in the allocation of parliament seats, in order to weaken BN-UMNO in GE15.
The shape of the current coalitions after GE15, at both the state and federal levels, also pose manifold possibilities, including the intriguing prospect of an UMNO-DAP government in states like Perak. The political parameters are even more complicated when the local parties in Sabah and Sarawak are brought into the discussion.
What are some of the frameworks for understanding the state of competition and cooperation between and within the political coalitions? Who are the key figures and personalities and what are their respective game plans? What will influence the discussion of post GE15 political configurations? In a political landscape that is more complicated than any that the country has faced in its past, political analysts and academics alike have much to observe and many potential lessons to be learned from Malaysia’s political developments in the next 3 to 12 months.
About the Speaker
Dr. Ong Kian Ming is the Member of Parliament for Bangi, Selangor. He has served Malaysia’s largest parliamentary constituency, with more than 300,000 voters, since 2013. He was a Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government from July 2018 to February 2020. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Duke University, an MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE). Before joining politics in 2012, he was an academic at UCSI University, a researcher at a number of Malaysian think tanks and a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
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