Politics

Ways of seeing a ‘moderate Muslim nation’

As long as the global attitude towards religious issues doesn't change, and Malaysians themselves mostly stay silent on these issues, the temptation will always be to smother dissent in the ‘invisibility cloak of religion’.

Better governance in a better parliament

Establishing parliamentary committees will help the new PH government meet its GE14 promises of better governance, as ministers and senior officials can be called to account.

New regimes, old policies and a bumiputera reboot

Will current levels of caution on Bumiputera policies persist, or will the new government seize the opportunity to reform? Will it remain fearful of being accused of sidelining Malays, or will it make Malays more capable and competitive?

Malay anxiety, exclusion, and national unity

By drawing stricter boundaries between what is ‘Islamic’ and ‘un-Islamic’, and between who is ‘Malay’ and ‘non-Malay’, the anxiety about 'Malay unity' is addressed in a post-May 9 Malaysia.

The struggle for political Islam in ‘new Malaysia’

The GE14 result reflects PAS' enduring influence, yet the PH parties together with IKRAM and ABIM offer a viable ‘Islamic alternative’ for pious Muslim voters. Can PAS expand its support base in urban areas, and might Amanah make further inroads into the east coast PAS heartland?

A regime change glanced askance

The ‘cari makan’ or a rent-seeking political culture may be the hardest thing to reform in Malaysia, even under a reformist government. And human nature will make this almost impossible to do.

Notes from the campaign: election day’s dues

Why Malaysia's voters delivered a momentous political upset in yesterday's election, as seen from the ground.

The amazing race for Malaysia, across the world

As Malaysians head to the most contentious elections since Merdeka, its citizens abroad are valiantly overcoming great odds to get their votes counted.

Notes from the campaign: Johor, Selangor, Perak

No Malaysian election campaign is complete without these highlights of food, flags and swag, as the GE14 season enters its final days.

Notes from the campaign: Lembah Pantai

Street theatre and the wayang of politics merge one warm night in an urban battle about corruption big and small.

A politics of redemption in fractious times

How much change, beyond Najib's ousting, does a Mahathir-led coalition represent? Or does an emboldened, victorious Najib mean political rebirths are redundant?

The ‘Apa Lagi Cina Mahu’* politics of endless division

Malaysia's GE14 marks the end of Malaysian Chinese politics after 60 years of dwindling and divisive outcomes, as its modern patron UMNO itself struggles to survive.

Losing a legacy, finding a nation in Sarawak

A new generation's contest over Sarawak's lost autonomy may force its GE14 voters to reconsider how today's leaders are trapped by the past.

Mapping out elections for victory

Electoral changes recently rammed through parliament can mean winning power at GE14 with just 16.5% of the popular vote. But would such elections confer the legitimacy to rule?

In the contest for power, Malaysia’s resurgent states stake a claim

The era of Malaysia's dominant federal government may be over as its leading states push for greater autonomy.

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.

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.

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.

Gangsta to the roots: Gangsta or civil society?

Sophie Lemiere argues that "gangsters" are now embedded into Malaysia's political system.

Gangsta to the roots: A Gangsta’s paradise

Sophie Lemiere explores the nexus between UMNO and gangsterism in this four part article.

The Praba Ganesan story

Praba Ganesan says he is a willing volunteer to support an abstract convolution called Malaysia