The Discourse on Islam and Politics in Malaysia Post GE14

Malaysia in Transition Seminar Series

About the Seminar

The discourse on Islam and politics in Malaysia has been dominated by the dialectical opposition between deepening Islamization and the widening space for democracy and liberalism taking place in the Malay-majority country, in which politics is mainly characterized by religious conservatism and race-based political dynamism. One is seen as a threat to the other. From anti-moral policing campaign in the late 1990s to the rise of the defenders of Islam in the 2000s, the dialectical opposition between the two has given rise to the intensification of the politics of race and religion in Malaysia. Under the BN’s rule, the Muslims’ fear that the sanctity of Islam was being eroded by the liberal push was cushioned by the deep-rooted belief that UMNO was the protector of Malay and Islam. The end of BN’s rule after the 14th general election however created uncertainty among the Malays. Will the new Pakatan Harapan government be able to defend the position of Islam in the face of the liberals’ rising expectation of the New Malaysia? This uncertainty has given room for the politics of race and religion to once again take the centre stage in Malaysian politics, this time round witnessing the coming together of the archrivals UMNO and PAS to challenge PH’s rule. This seminar seeks to address the issue of intensification of the politics of race and religion in Malaysia after the 14th general election and its wider impact on Malaysian politics and society.

About the Speaker

Datuk Dr Haji Marzuki bin Mohamad is Special Functions Officer to the Minister of Home Affairs Malaysia. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, International Islamic University Malaysia. He was Special Officer to the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia (2009-2013) and Political Secretary to the Minister of Education (2013-2015). He holds a law degree from the International Islamic University Malaysia (1998), Master of Arts in Political Science from the National University of Malaysia (2002) and Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from the Australian National University (2008).


For registration, please click here. Registration closes on 11 October 2019.


Oct 14 2019


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2