Why Malaysia’s Unity Government Will (Probably) Survive

Kai Ostwald

Malaysia has seen four changes in government since 2018. Its 15th general election resulted in a grand-coalition government comprising former arch rivals. Will this new government be equally short-lived? This Long Read examines the reasons why Anwar Ibrahim’s Unity Government may be more stable than one would think.

Defining Tests for UMNO, Anwar and the Unity Government

Khairy Jamaluddin

Fulcrum editor Dr Lee Hwok Aun and Dr Francis Hutchinson, both Senior Fellows at ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute, speak with Khairy Jamaluddin on a broad range of Malaysian political and policy issues. Six months after the 15th general election, UMNO, Prime Minister Anwar, and the unity government are each facing distinct challenges that will test their ability to reform, govern, contest state elections, and sustain the ruling coalition. Khairy is a Visiting Senior Fellow at ISEAS, and was three-time member of Malaysia’s parliament representing Rembau. He has served as Minister of Youth and Sports; Science, Technology and Innovation; and Health.

Malaysia’s 15th General Election: Ethnicity Remains the Key Factor in Voter Preferences

Marzuki Mohamad|Ibrahim Suffian

The results of Malaysia’s 15th General Election revealed that ethnicity remains the key factor determining voter behaviour. But in a reversal of previous trends, the coalition that received the most support from the ethnic Malay majority is in the Opposition, while the coalition that received the least Malay support is leading the government. This suggests that the current political configuration is intrinsically fragile.

Forging Anwar’s Cabinet: Fervent Followers, Forbidden Friends, and Former Foes

Francis E. Hutchinson

With his first 100 days behind him, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has acted proactively to solidify his hold on power. Adept at backroom negotiations, he swiftly cobbled together a Cabinet representing his broad ‘coalition of coalitions’ while ensuring that he and his loyalists controlled the most powerful positions. This Long Read provides an analysis of how the spoils were distributed in Anwar’s new Cabinet.

Repurposing Fuel Subsidy to Facilitate Malaysia’s Shift to Electric Vehicles

Tham Siew Yean|Kevin Zhang

Malaysia seeks to ensure the poor benefit from fuel subsidies rather than the rich, but rationalisation can also contribute towards sustainability. The savings from the removal of fuel subsidies can be directed towards developing renewable or low-carbon alternatives, thereby contributing to meet Malaysia’s pledge to be “a carbon neutral country by 2050 at the earliest”.