Synopsis: The Chinese in post-General Election 14 Malaysia
About the Seminar
Some 90 percent of Malaysian Chinese voted for Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the 2018 General Election, and, for the first time, a ruling coalition has the support of the vast majority of the Chinese. The results of the General Election brought significant changes to the political system. There is, firstly, a switch in Government and Opposition roles for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA). Secondly, each of the two major coalitions now has only one Chinese-based party. Thirdly, there are moves towards more consultation among component members in the governing and opposition coalitions.
In this new political landscape, it is difficult to see the MCA as an opposition party able to significantly improve its support among Chinese voters in the near term. In addition, the DAP is expected to take on a more prominent role within the ruling PH coalition. More immediately, the Chinese-based parties have to cope with a situation where their more dominant Malay partners in Government and Opposition are distracted by internal divisions and succession issues.
Finally, a discussion of post-GE14 Malaysia provides an opportunity to reflect on changing political and leadership roles of the Chinese community. What does the Chinese electorate’s support for change reveal about their aspirations and anxiety for the community and nation amidst a scenario of economic downturn and rising regional, ethnic and religious assertiveness?
About the Speaker
Lee Kam Hing is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Development) of New Era University College (Kajang). He was previously Professor at the History Department, University of Malaya. Lee obtained his BA (Hons) and MA from University of Malaya, and completed his PhD at Monash University, Melbourne. He was a Harvard-Yenching Visiting Scholar and Visiting Professor at Peking University. His publications include The Sultanate of Acheh, 1786-1824; Politics and Education in Indonesia, 1945-1965; and jointly-edited volumes on The Chinese in Malaysia; Christianity in Malaysia; and Biographical Dictionary of the Chinese in Malaysia. His most recent work is A Matter of Risks: Insurance in Malaysia, 1826-1990.