Towards a New Malaysia?: The 2018 Election and Its Aftermath

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Edited by Meredith L. Weiss and Faisal S. Hazis

With contributions from Ibrahim Suffian, Lee Tai Dee, Helen Ting, Johan Saravanamuttu, Ross Tapsell, Haris Zuan, Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid, Che Hamdan Mohd Razali, David Kloos, Wai Weng Hew, Chin-Huat Wong

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.

"Towards a New Malaysia 
is an outstanding volume filled with expert accounts of the 2018 election results and their causes. From multiple angles, the contributors guide the reader through an ongoing story that may, despite many obstacles, turn out to be a tale of profound political change." 
- Donald Horowitz, author of Constitutional Change and Democracy in Indonesia (Cambridge, 2013) 

"Meredith Weiss and Faisal Hazis are two of the most active and exciting scholars of Malaysian politics...A comprehensive and provocative volume."
- Francis Loh Kok WahProfessor of Politics (retired), Universiti Sains Malaysia

"Through detailed reviews of an admirable breadth of issues that have shaped voting trends, this book provides thoughtful insights into one of the most astounding regime changes the world has seen. A valuable book that must be read to understand how people can bring down dominant parties and authoritarian leaders."
 Edmund Terence Gomez, University of Malaya

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.

Publication year: 2020

288 pp / 153 x 229 mm / 25 charts and 12 maps