Election in Malaysia

May 8, 2018 Weekly Graphs

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak dissolved parliament on April 7 and general elections will be held on May 9. This election comes at a rocky time marred by the 1MDB scandal where $4.5 billion was reported missing from the state development fund. Of this, $700 million was connected to Prime Minister Najib. While he has denied any form of malpractice, many are still stumped that he has been able to remain as Prime Minister despite being implicated in the scandal. 

This week’s graph looks at V-Dem indicators to see how the landscape has changed from when Malaysia gained independence in 1965 to the present day. By taking all aspects of the pre-election period, Election Day and post-election process into account, the free and fair election indicator looks at how free and fair the elections were considered to be. Based on this indicator, we can see that the level of free and fair elections that have been conducted in Malaysia has been on the decline. While there was a slight upward trend, the last election which was held in 2013 saw a fall in the level of freeness and fairness. The opposition won a historic victory, defeating the Barisan Nasional coalition which has been in power for the past 60 years. How will this surprise win change the fairness of elections and democracy in Malaysia? We will have to wait to find out.

If you would like to learn more about Malaysia or profiles of other countries, use our online analysis tool at v-dem.net.

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