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

Pakistan says Asia Bibi’s rights will be respected

Imran Khan on Tuesday reaffirmed his government’s resolve to respect the Supreme Court’s judgement in the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman recently freed from prison after her blasphemy conviction was overturned. “As citizens of Pakistan, Asia Bibi and her family are entitled to all rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan,” the premier told European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, who had telephoned Khan. According to a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, Tajani thanked Khan for ensuring the safety and security of Bibi and her family. Assuring the prime minister of the EU Parliament’s cooperation with the Pakistani government, Tajani said that a debate on Bibi scheduled to be held in the EU Parliament had been postponed. Bibi has been blocked from leaving Pakistan after the overturning of her conviction prompted a wave of

By Dawn
November 14, 2018

News, Politics

Malaysia Cabinet agrees to scrap death penalty

If approved by lawmakers, capital punishment will be replaced with minimum 30 years in jail. Malaysia’s de facto Law Minister Liew Vui Keong told Parliament yesterday that the Cabinet has agreed to scrap the death penalty, including for murder, but Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail appeared to hedge over the matter by telling reporters that the government would review abolishing it for murder. “We are reviewing it. The death penalty is one of those that we will review,” she said when asked if the government would keep the death penalty for child murders. But when The Straits Times contacted Datuk Liew again, he insisted that “all 32 death penalty offences found in eight of our laws” would be abolished.

By The Straits Times
November 14, 2018

News, Politics

President Xi emphasizes role of Hong Kong, Macau

Both Hong Kong and Macao were told to integrate with nation’s overall development. President Xi Jinping underlined on Monday the unique and irreplaceable role of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions for China’s reform and opening-up in the new era. He also called on the two regions to better integrate themselves with the nation’s overall development. Xi’s remarks came as he met with a delegation of about 210 representatives from the two SARs who were in Beijing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up. The position and role of Hong Kong and Macao will only be strengthened rather than weakened, Xi said. The two regions should continue to play a leading role and enable more capital, technology and talent to take part in the country’s high-quality development and in the new round of high-level opening-up, he said. People of the two regions should continu

By China Daily
November 13, 2018

News, Politics

Suu Kyi stripped of Amnesty honour

The Amnesty International has stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour, the latest of several honours taken away from her since last year’s brutal military crackdown on the Rohingyas. This is the eighth honour that the former Nobel peace prizewinner has been stripped of over the past year, with Amnesty following the example of Canada, US Holocaust Museum, UK’s Edinburgh, Oxford, Glasgow and Newcastle and Canada’s Carleton Universities which also revoked Suu Kyi’s honorary degrees and awards. The long-celebrated Nobel Laureate was given Amnesty’s most prestigious honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2009 marking the 20th anniversary of her arrest and 20 years since it declared her a prisoner of conscience. The AI yesterday announced withdrawal of its highest honour fr

By Daily Star
November 13, 2018

News, Politics

Date set for Bangladesh elections

Bangladesh will hold a parliamentary election on December 23 despite the failure of political parties to resolve major contentious issues over the polls. The country’s chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda said there was a “congenial atmosphere” to hold the polls and promised it will be free and fair. “We hope we will be able to hold a free, fair and acceptable election,” Huda said in a televised address. A day before, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wrapped up week-long talks between the ruling Awami League-led 14-party combine and at least 80 parties under the banners of different alliances. During the dialogue, Jatiya Oikyafront, an alliance of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and several other opposition parties, demanded for a dissolution of parliament before the polls and the creation of a caretaker government. The ruling party, however, rejected it over const

By Asia News Network
November 9, 2018

News, Politics

Woman accused of blasphemy freed in Pakistan

Asia Bibi was initially found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to death. After her release from Multan’s women prison in the light of the Oct 31 Supreme Court verdict overturning her conviction and death sentence, Asia Bibi was brought to Islamabad on board a special aircraft on Wednesday night, reliable sources told Dawn Newspaper. The aircraft carrying Aasia Bibi, whose acquittal of blasphemy charge sparked countrywide protests by religious parties and groups, landed at the old Benazir Bhutto International Airport of Islamabad adjacent to Nur Khan Air Base. Soon after her landing, she was taken to an undisclosed place in Islamabad amid tight security. The authorities were keeping her movement and whereabouts secret for security reasons. Authorities concerned were also tight-lipped about her future plan and it was unclear if she would be kept in Islamabad or would be allowed to fly out of the

By Dawn
November 8, 2018