Malaysia to Hold Early Elections

Malaysia to Hold Early Elections
Photo: Al Jazeera

The Facts

  • On Thursday, Malaysia's electoral commission announced that the country will hold its 15th general election on Nov. 19. PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob dissolved parliament on Oct. 10 with an eye toward an early election that he reportedly hopes may end the country's recent instability.

  • Another federal election wasn't due until September 2023. The three front-running groups are the Malay Muslim-majority Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, the multiracial Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, and the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.

The Spin

Narrative A

Voters have seen how prime ministers from all three parties performed in the past, and can make an educated choice while stabilizing Malaysia’s politics. Unlike in 2018, they now have a stronger understanding of what promises can and cannot realistically be fulfilled. This is a momentous occasion for a more mature, savvy electorate.

Narrative B

Malaysia's upcoming election is very important, but the systemic issue of "race-based politics" remains. The current system hasn't helped to solve pressing issues around poverty, social issues, inflation, or education. This colonial relic needs to be done away with – the regressive religious politics are making this Southeast Asian nation fall economically behind on the world stage.

Articles on this story

Sign up to our daily newsletter