See More on Facebook

News, Politics

Preview: Malaysia’s 14th General Election

Key people and issues on the campaign trail ahead of Malaysia’s general election.


Written by

Updated: May 9, 2018

Much is at stake for current Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose last election as the head of the ruling Barisan Nasional yielded the worst results in the coalition’s long history, with opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan, winning the popular vote for the first time.

This year, Pakatan Harapan is mounting another challenge – with Najib’s former mentor and the country’s longest-serving Premier at its helm.

Politicians across the country have been attempting to woo voters, and campaigning has only intensified as the “mother of all elections” has drawn nearer.

Making a stop in Langkawi on Friday (May 4), where incumbent BN member of parliament Nawawi Ahmad will face off against Mahathir, Najib promised voters a whole host of goodies aimed at increasing tourism and giving locals’ earnings a boost, according to The Straits Times.

These include a budget of RM100 million for loans for local businessmen to build chalets, motels and shops, transforming Cenang beach into a bustling market like Bangkok’s Chatuchak, and a motocross circuit for enthusiasts, The Straits Times reported.

Mahathir is well regarded in Langkawi, part of Barisan Nasional stronghold state Kedah, having been widely credited with the Island’s growth and development.

The former premier has made several stops in BN territory, including Pekan, the seat held by Najib, a Felda settlement in Bukit Goh, and the country’s seat of government Putrajaya before returning to Langkawi yesterday.

The northern state of Penang, which has been under opposition control since 2008, has also received its share of goodies, including a slew of development projects recently approved by Najib.

The projects, worth RM40mil in Tasek Gelugor and Kepala Batas, included a RM30mil health clinic in Teluk Ayer Tawar, RM9mil for the upgrading of the existing police cabin in Penaga into a police station and construction of a RM250,000 health clinic, either in Pasir Gebu or Kuala Muda, The Star reported.

Najib also said the Government would study plans for the construction of a 250-lot parking complex at the Tasek Gelugor train station and approved RM3.5mil for the upgrading of a mosque in Sungai Lokan.

The opposition is not going down without a fight, holding two mega ceramah which drew large crowds, The Star reported.

It also rolled out 68 measures to improve Penang in its state manifesto in April, including promises to continue major infrastructure projects, such as highways, the Penang Undersea Tunnel, and flood mitigation projects, according to The Star.

As election day has drawn nearer, the campaign in Penang appears to have turned ugly, with candidates from both coalitions complaining of dirty tactics used against them, The Star reported.

Pakatan candidate for the Seri Delima state seat Syerleena Abdul Rashid, launched four police reports over two ‘fake’ banners claiming that she intended to change the country’s official religion.

Two police reports were also filed by Barisan Nasional’s Bagan Dalam candidate J. Dhinagaran over Barisan banners and flags in his area being vandalised, and another was made by his contender from Pakatan Harapan M. Satees, The Star reported.

“A check along Bagan Dalam shows that there are more Barisan flags because our flags have been pulled down by their people,” Satees is quoted as saying in The Star.

“The report was made because we were threatened by Barisan members and I want to prevent any untoward incidents,” he said.

He also denied that his people were responsible for vandalising the Barisan banners and flags.

Other candidates also recounted instances of vandalism and unethical tactics.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Nadia Chevroulet
About the Author: Nadia is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

News, Politics

Abe wins 3rd term as president of ruling LDP

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was reelected president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party for a third consecutive term on Thursday. “I will put all my strength and soul into fulfilling my duty,” Abe said after his victory. A total of 810 votes were cast in the LDP presidential poll, half by Diet lawmakers and half by rank-and-file party members. After securing the support of five LDP factions, led respectively by Hiroyuki Hosoda, Taro Aso, Fumio Kishida, Toshihiro Nikai and Nobuteru Ishihara, Abe won 329 of the 405 votes from LDP lawmakers, against 73 votes for Ishiba. Voting from rank-and-file party members closed on Wednesday. Abe won 224 votes of the 405 votes available from rank-and-file party members, while Ishiba won 181. At a press conference later on the same day, Abe said he intends to reshu


By The Japan News
September 21, 2018

News, Politics

A land with no smiles

The Thai middle class’ Faustian bargain with the military is hampering true democracy in the country. Almost ten years ago, I met a protester on the streets of Bangkok. It was a time of protest and political instability with the drama between the government and protesters spilling out onto the streets. To protect his identity against possible military reprisal, let us call him Nadech. Nadech will unlikely be recorded in history books, he was not a political leader, nor a despotic general or any other archetype of Thai history. He was a simple junk-store hawker, an occupation that involves going from house to house and sorting garbage to sell. His family had done well enough through grit and hard work to open a small convenience store in his home province. Nadech had taken to the streets in 2010 because he had believed the promises that exiled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had made and had seen, fi


By Cod Satrusayang
September 21, 2018

News, Politics

New airport construction adds to China’s influence in the Maldives

Maldives airport opened a new runway constructed by China this week, a sign of Beijing’s growing influence on the island nation. Maldives airport opened its newly developed Code F runway at the Velana International Airport on Tuesday after two years of construction by Chinese firms. According to Chinese state media, the new runway is a milestone project of the Belt and Road Initiative. The contract for the airport expansion, including the development of the fuel farm, a cargo terminal, and the new runway, was signed between China and the Maldives in 2014, Xinhua News Agency reported. Constructed by Beijing Urban Construction Group, a large international construction group based in China, the new runway is 3,400 meters long and 60 meters wide. It is the latest push by China to gain influence over the politically troubled nation. Earlier this year, Maldivian President Abdulla Y


By Cod Satrusayang
September 20, 2018

News, Politics

Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif released from jail

Nawaz Sharif and his family were released from Adiala jail on Wednesday after the Islamabad High Court suspended their respective prison sentences in the Avenfield corruption case earlier in the day. PML-N Pr


By Dawn
September 20, 2018

News, Politics

El Salvador ups pressure on Taiwan relations

Prosecutors in El Salvador to investigate the alleged graft of some $10 million in funds donated by Taiwan. El Salvador announced it would sever ties with Taiwan and switch its allegiance to Beijing on 21th August. The loss of the Central American country reduces the number of Taiwan’s formal diplomatic allies to just 17. Now the current president of El Salvador, Sanchez Ceren, is accused that he won the election by relying on partial fund which was donated by Taiwan in 2014. Prosecutor Douglas Melendez said in a TV interview that Taiwan gave $38 million to El Salvador for various projects, but the fund was used in a partisan campaign by Mauricio Funes in election won by current President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the presidential candidate of the FMLN party in 2014. The FMLN party calling the accusations “baseless” and accusing Melendez of “attacking our candidate and o


By Asia News Network
September 20, 2018

News, Politics

Former Malaysian Prime Minister arrested, to be charged

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been arrested in connection with the deposit of RM2.6bil of 1MDB funds into his personal account. In a statement, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) said the arrest was made at 4.13pm at its headquarters in Putrajaya on Wednesday (Sept 19). The MACC said that the former prime minister will be detained overnight and brought to court to face several charges under Section 23 (1) of the MACC Act at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court at 3pm on Thursday (Sept 20). The MACC will also cooperate with the police to record Najib’s statement before he is taken to court tomorrow. ” This is to help their investigations under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001,” it said. Meanwhile, Malaysiakini reports that Najib’ daughter, Nooryana Najwa, is worried t


By The Star
September 20, 2018