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Jakarta Post

Regime change in Malaysia

  • Patrick Ziegenhain

Kuala Lumpur   /   Sat, May 12 2018   /  01:30 am

After 61 years of rule, the end came quickly and for most observers quite surprisingly. Barisan Nasional led by the United Malay National Organization (UMNO) lost its parliamentary majority in the 14th national elections in Malaysia on May 9.

Therefore, the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan has the right to form the new government and its chairman Mahathir Mohamad was consequently appointed by the king as new prime minister.

The result of the 14th general elections is more than a change of government. It is a regime change. So far, UMNO controlled the Malaysian TV and radio stations, the print media, the government-linked companies, the banks, the state institutions, and last but not least the country’s administration.

For decades, UMNO formed a specific form of government, which international political scientists termed as a soft-authoritarian electoral democ...