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Malaysia

Scratching the itch out east with Warisan

Can former minister and prime minister Najb Razak's ‘good friend’ Shafie Apdal sweep out Sabah's incumbents at GE14, and end up delivering power to Mahathir's opposition?

Lost in race between first world and third

Reform-minded Malaysians are fatigued after two missed opportunities since 2008, with today's centrifugal politics generating even more social tensions. Not even Dr Mahathir’s surprise (re)emergence can mend those fractures, as Malaysians dream of the First World but still struggle in the Third as inequality worsens.

Perpetual policy and its limited future as reforms stall

Reforming Bumiputera policy is a colossal project both rival coalitions are reluctant to tackle. Yet the political consensus, while striving to transcend ethnic policies in rhetoric, misconstrues and ignores the embedded preferential regime.

Sabah and its GE14 deliverance from nationalised identity

Sabah needs leaders and statesmen determined to solve its long overdue need for autonomy, without fear of injuring a federal government's pride.

From the streets to the courtroom: judicial electoral contestation

Bersih’s legal strategy to check on electoral integrity has exposed and revealed much about the redelineation process, testing the relationships between Malaysia’s political institutions.

New tech and old loyalties mash up a historic contest

The resurgence of ‘old’ Mahathir against the Najib coalition has been matched with the ‘new’, the cheap smartphone.

All the news that’s fit to fake

As Malaysia rushes to its GE14 on 9 May, the new anti-fake news law is primed against the state's critics, emboldening speech vigilantism by outsourced censors linked to the ruling UMNO party.

The (re)making of Malaysia and its fabulous 1963 promise

With Malaysia's Parliament now dissolved in the official rush to GE14's polling day, Sabah and Sarawak are again crucial states determining the winning coalition.

The truth and the fake in the making of Malaysian news

The threat to eliminate all ‘fake news’ isn’t merely an assault on the freedom of speech, it’s also an affront to its beauty, efficacy, recall, and its very existence.

As GE14 draws near…or, why hold elections?

Closer scrutiny of Malaysian elections since the era of Najib Razak's father can sharpen the contrasts over winning—and losing—legitimacy.

A ‘Malay Malaysia’, but in what sense Islamic?

The Najib government needs to win new legitimacy at GE14 if it's to juggle Malay, Islamic, and royal claims, amid a restive East Malaysia.

‘Aku nak Islam lama balik’: a look at one kampung in Sabah

Dina Zaman on how the religious tensions of Peninsular Malaysia are being imported to Sabah.

Funding an opposition’s manifesto is all about politics

Pakatan Harapan's policy promises will sound great to many voters, but how would a PH government pay for them?

The twilight of 1Malaysia, the dawn of another

GE14 is more than just a barometer of electoral sentiment. Whoever wins, Malaysia will be a different country afterwards.

The Sufi poet and the peculiar whale (part one)

Hamzah of Barus was the foremost Malay poet of the 16th century, whose work draws deeply from Sufi imagery and philosophy.

GE14: the polls, the money, the stakes

Ibrahim Suffian, Terence Gomez, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and Amrita Malhi talk with Kean Wong about what's at stake in Malaysia's 2018 elections.

Perspectives on the Past at New Mandala

Welcoming the University of Sydney's Southeast Asian history bloggers to New Mandala.

Rohingya radicalisation in Malaysia: Where’s the evidence?

Claims of widespread Rohingya radicalisation in Malaysia don't ring true on the ground.

Kean Wong is our GE14 editor

The experienced journalist and editor joins the New Mandala team as Contributing Editor to oversee our coverage of Malaysia's upcoming general election.

Terrorist arbitrage in Southeast Asia

Jihadists know how to take advantage of the unique space for mobilisation offered by the Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines triborder area. Governments are still catching up.

Ownership and control in 21st century Malaysia

Terence Gomez's 'Minister of Finance Incorporated' is a important statement on Malaysian political economy, comparable to James Puthucheary's of 58 years ago.

Book Preview: Illusions of Democracy in Malaysia

A new edited volume grapples with what it means to study a country caught between democracy and authoritarianism.

Youth and a culture of protest in Southeast Asia

On the distinctive energy young people are bringing to campaigns for democracy and good governance in Malaysia.

Southeast Asian cyberspace: politics, censorship, polarisation

The internet is both a factor in, and a victim of, the region’s crisis of democracy.