Damien Kingsbury

1. What do you think will be the most important issue that the new government must address?

How to transition Malaysia from a soft authoritarian state to a liberal democracy, while balancing its various competing interest groups and ensuring a relative degree of equity.

2. What do you think is Barisan Nasional’s greatest strength?

BN’s greatest strength is its unity and longevity, and that it has been able to oversee Malaysia’s considerable development.

3. What do you think is Barisan Nasional’s greatest weakness?

BN’s greatest weakness is its inability to let go, to be able to allow itself to function within a truly plural political environment in which it, and its core constituents, may no longer hold power.

4. What do you think is Pakatan Rakyat’s greatest strength?

PR’s greatest strength is its increasing ability to force the hand of BN into accepting that there may be a viable alternative government for Malaysia.

5. What do you think is Pakatan Rakyat’s greatest weakness?

PR’s greatest weakness is that its coalition is fragile, built primarily upon what it opposes as opposed to what it stands for.

6. What is your hope for Malaysia?

I hope that Malaysia’s transitions peacefully into becoming a plural, liberal democracy in which all of its citizens are equally represented in the political process on the basis of electoral equity, and that Malaysians increasingly put behind them communal identification and come together as a nation cohering around civic values.

Professor Damien Kingsbury is Director, Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Rights, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Melbourne.

New Mandala is asking Malaysians and Malaysianists worldwide their views on the two coalitions vying for power at the 13th general election in Malaysia. Their responses are published unedited.