Malaysia’s 2018 election (GE14) brought down a ruling party in power since independence in 1957. This book tells the full story of this historic election, combining a sharp analysis of the voting data with consideration of the key issues, campaign strategies, and mobilization efforts that played out during the election period in April and May 2018. This analysis is then used to bring fresh perspectives to bear on the core debates about Malaysian political ideas, identities and behaviours, debates that continue to shape the country’s destiny.
However optimistic many Malaysians may be for the possibility of a more representative, accountable, participatory, and equitable polity, the authors do not see GE14 as a clear harbinger of full-on liberalization in Malaysia. While the political aftermath of the election continues to play out, the authors provide a clarion call for deeper, more critical, more comparative research on Malaysia’s politics. They complicate well-known angles on and elevate too-little-studied dimensions of Malaysian politics, and suggest agendas for empirically interesting, theoretically relevant further research. They also point to the broader insights Malaysia’s experience provides for the study of elections and political change in one-party dominant states around the world.
Meredith L. Weiss is Professor and Chair of Political Science in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany, State University of New York.
Faisal S. Hazis is the Election Commissioner of Malaysia.