Malaysia’s Electoral Upheaval

Issue Date July 2009
Volume 20
Issue 3
Page Numbers 71-85
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In the March 2008 General Elections, the ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front) lost its two-third majority. It was the first time since independence that the Opposition was able to threaten the BN. This paper looks at the roles played by Anwar Ibrahim, the Opposition and civil society in this historical election, and argues that Malaysian politics will never be the same again. Although race and religion remain the core of the system, cross ethnic voting and the wide use of the internet to campaign may herald in the start of a real competitive electoral system.