The Malaysia Studies Program’s Seminar Series was privileged to welcome Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, a medical doctor and Parti Socialis Malaysia’s sole Member of Parliament for Sungei Siput, Perak, to ISEAS.
Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj giving his talk (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)
Participants at the seminar (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)
In Malaysia, Prime Minister Najib Razak has to dissolve the current parliament by 24 June 2018. Most analysts expect him to hold the PRU 14 in October 2017. Jeyakumar’s assessment is that there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the Barisan Nasional (BN) government due to the 1MDB corruption scandal and the Felda Global Ventures debacle and due the escalating costs of living. However, the most important factor that will enable the BN — especially UMNO — to win PRU 14 is because of the fractious divisions within the opposition parties. If the Islamic party PAS persist in staying out of the opposition coalition and thus trigger three cornered fights many constituencies, the opposition, except the Democratic Action Party, will be decimated while UMNO will do very well but its non-Malay coalition partners will fare badly.