Reformasi and Harapan after 2020: End of an Era or Remake of a Movement?
MALAYSIA STUDIES PROGRAMME WEBINAR
About the Webinar
The historic 2018 general election was a culmination of the reformasi movement from 1999. Its call of justice, equality and non-racial politics rallied Malaysia at the 2008 elections, which also mainstreamed Parti Keadilan Rakyat. Pakatan Rakyat, in parliamentary opposition, consolidated an agenda of change, forging a new brand of politics with a new breed of politicians. Pakatan Harapan’s speedy formation and spectacular May 2018 victory raised hopes that reform had finally arrived. Those hopes were dashed by the speedier overturn of February 2020 that brought Perikatan Nasional to power.
Flux and tension pervade Malaysia. Reformist hopes still resonate in the cities and towns, but for the same reason, is PH’s appeal confined to such constituencies? Can the coalition contend against race-based politics deployed by UMNO-Bersatu-PAS? While infighting assails the fragile Muhyiddin administration, PH maintains cohesion, anchored by the PKR-DAP-Amanah alliance. Still, the coalition is viewed as lacking direction and composure, somewhat distracted from being an effective opposition by PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim’s floundering attempts to prove his parliamentary majority.
Does 2020 mark the end of reformasi? In Malaysia’s new political landscape, how are PH –especially PKR – repositioning themselves? A young and upcoming political leader addresses these questions.
About the Speaker
Fahmi Fadzil is the Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai, Kuala Lumpur, and PKR Communications Director. He also serves in the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Rights and Gender Equality. He was previously Political Secretary to Nurul Izzah Anwar, Lembah Pantai MP and PKR Vice President (2010-2013). Fahmi has a Bachelors’ degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University. Prior to formally joining PKR in 2010, Fahmi was a writer and award-winning theatre performer. His reflections on contesting and winning in the 14th general election are published in The Defeat of Barisan Nasional (ISEAS, 2019).
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