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Ultimate Game of Thrones in Malaysia


Chin, JU, Ultimate Game of Thrones in Malaysia, The Interpreter, The Lowy Institute, Sydney, 22 November (2019) [Newspaper Article]

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The past 48 hours have been remarkable, even by the standards of Malaysian politics. There now seem to be plans afoot to create a new ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, split and weaken Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), and stop Anwar Ibrahim from succeeding Mahathir Mohammad as Prime Minister.

The catalyst for these moves appears to be the defeat of the PH candidate in the Tanjung Piai by-election held last Saturday. The PH candidate not only lost to a candidate from Barisan Nasional–Malaysian Chinese Association (BN–MCA) – the opposition grouping that includes the former ruling party – but the margin of victory was more than 15,000 votes. BN–MCA obtained 25,466 votes while Pakatan Harapan’s Karmaine Sardini came out in second place with only 10,380 votes.

Ordinarily, people don’t pay much attention to by-elections, but the huge margin suggests two things. Malays and Chinese both voted en masse against PH, the same voters who delivered the party victory just 18 months ago in the general elections, indicating deep unhappiness with the PH administration. And second, Mahathir appears to have lost personal support among rural Malays, which had been key to PH’s victory last year when Bersatu, his new party, managed to secure about one third of the Malay vote. The by-election proved that the rural Malay vote is well on its way back to the opposition.

Item Details

Item Type:Newspaper Article
Keywords:Malaysia, history, political development
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Political systems
UTAS Author:Chin, JU (Professor James Chin)
ID Code:136046
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:College Office - CALE
Deposited On:2019-11-28
Last Modified:2019-11-28

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