Analysing the Malaysian Elections results
The Constitution of Malaysia requires a general election to be held in the fifth calendar year unless it is dissolved earlier by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong due to a motion of no-confidence or at the request of the Prime Minister.
The election resulted in a victory for Pakatan Harapan, the main opposition coalition in the Malaysian Parliament. The coalition won a simple majority of seats in the Dewan Rakyat, Malaysia’s lower house of parliament, with 113 seats, with the addition of the Sabah Heritage Party, having won another 8 seats, and two independents, informally aligned with Pakatan Harapan, giving the opposition alliance a total of 123 seats in the new Parliament, enough to form a government.
This marked a historic defeat for the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, which had never lost control of Malaysia’s government for 61 years since the country’s independence in 1957. This makes Mahathir Mohamad the next Prime Minister of Malaysia and, at 92 years old, the oldest head of government in the world, although he has indicated he would give way to jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim after seeking a royal pardon for him.
A day after the election, the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO) announced that they have left the Barisan Nasional coalition, and will join Warisan informing the state government in Sabah. However, the five elected assemblymen of the party refused to leave the coalition and maintained allegiance to Barisan. As such, Barisan Nasional, along with the support of the Homeland Solidarity Party, formed the next Sabah state government, with Musa Aman chosen as the Chief Minister.
The Dewan Rakyat is made up of 222 Members of Parliament, elected for a five-year term; these seats are distributed among the thirteen Malaysian states in proportion to the states’ voting population. Members are elected from single-member constituencies that each elects one representative to the Dewan Rakyat using the first-past-the-post voting system. If one party obtains a majority of seats, then that party is entitled to form the Government, with its leader as Prime Minister. If the election results in no single party having a majority, there is a hung parliament. In this case, the options for forming the Government are either a minority government or a coalition. Malaysia does not practice compulsory voting and automatic voter registration. The voting age is above 21 although the age of majority in the country is 18.
The redistricting of electoral boundaries for the entire country had been presented to and passed by the Dewan Rakyat, and subsequently gazetted on 29 March 2018 after obtaining the royal consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong ahead of the 14th general election. Elections are conducted by the Election Commission of Malaysia (EC), which is under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s Department.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team