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Introduction: Awakening, Transformations and the Abdullah Badawi Years


Chin, JU and Welsh, B, Introduction: Awakening, Transformations and the Abdullah Badawi Years, Awakening: The Abdullah Badawi Years in Malaysia, Strategic Information and Research Development Centre, Bridget Welsh & James Chin (ed), Kuala Lumpur, pp. 23-62. ISBN 978-9675832789 (2013) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2013 Bridget Welsh and James U.H. Chin

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Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, or more popularly known by his nickname Pak Lah, has secured his place in Malaysian political history as the country’s fifth prime minister. Known for his affability, he was welcomed into office in 2003 after the 22 year iron-fist tenure of his predecessor Dr. Mahathir Mohamed. However, five years later he became the country’s only prime minister who was forced to resign even after winning a general election. Unlike many other countries, a mere victory in Malaysia’s polls by the ruling National Front coalition or Barisan Nasional (BN) is not seen as ‘good enough’. In Malaysian politics, the ruling party judges its victory by whether or not, it gets the two-thirds majority in parliament. Abdullah failed to reach this marker in the 2008 general election. Ironically, in 2004, Abdullah’s BN had won by a landslide, taking 198 of 219 seats. In percentage terms, this translated into 90 percent of the seats in parliament and was the largest victory ever for the governing coalition. Although he was not expected to perform at the same level in 2008, it was not expected that the BN would lose its two-thirds majority. In 2008, the BN won the general election by 58 seats, or 63 percent of the seats. Within a year of the results, Abdullah was forced to retire and hand over the reigns of the party and government to his deputy Najib Tun Razak. He stepped down from office on 1 April 2009, after 1,979 days in office.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:Abdullah Badawi, History, Malaysia, politics, Barisan Nasional, National Front coalition
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:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Chin, JU (Professor James Chin)
ID Code:99782
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2015-04-09
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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