Malaysia election: victory of pure politics

APD News | 作者: Liu Chang | 时间: 2018-05-21 | 责编: Wang Jiapei
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The 14th Malaysia general election unveiled its surprising result on May 10, marking the southeast nation has changed its political landscape over one night.

After 61 years of dominance in national politics since its independence, the age-old party coalition Barisan Nasional (National Front) (BN for short) encountered major defeat, only around one third of whole 222 seats in the parliament and two states' power -- Pahang and Perlis - held.

Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) (PH for short), a newly-founded opposition party after split of Pakatan Rakyat (People's Pact) led by 92-year-old former Prime Minister Mahathir created the astonishing miracle that almost all observers and opinion polls had shown negative expectations about his return before the election.

Many analysts explained that Malaysians were tired of a bunch of old-fashioned power holders and eager to leadership renewal, especially replacing the corrupted Prime Minister Najib Razak who was involved in the 1MDB scandal without legal punishment because he controlled the commission of investigation.

Furthermore, more and more people believed that the Malaysian democracy has gradually achieved political resilience when the power rotates. The BN-dominated era has ended by this election.

Najib resigned UMNO (United Malaysian Native Organization) President and BN Chairman means that the two-party system is highly likely to be established. If the PH government would take over power and implement their policies in a proper manner, it would create a new order of Malaysian politics with voters’ support.

Maybe we could get more insights from the other side of coin. This election may indicate that a new type of political thought has been received step by step. It is well known that Malaysian politics cannot be escaped from the race issue. This former British colony gained independence based on the consensus of three races - Malay, Chinese and Indian. When the national political situation deteriorated, the race issue was often used as a strategy to impact electoral results. The authority even pretended to worsen race conflicts to get opportunity to consolidate its power in emergency.

Things make a little different in this election. Malay, the majority race, has been divided due to various reasons. At last, UMNO has lost its self-claimed advantage to represent the whole Malay race and protect Malay privileges (special position of Bumiputras).

A positive and progressive political approach that giving top priority to the national development instead of the race issue are welcomed by the public. Any improvement based on the new tolerant way will be underlined and won people’s support. We believe a more open-minded and innovative Malaysia will be also welcomed by the regional countries and the international community.



Liu Chang, Associated Research Fellow, Department of Asia-Pacific Studies, China Institute of International Studies.




Source: APD News, May 14, 2018.