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Malaysia in 2013: Najib’s Pyrrhic Victory and the Demise of Malaysia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 09:02 authored by James ChinJames Chin
The Barisan National (BN) and the Opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) contested the long-awaited general elections (GE) in 2013. The results and consequences of the GE were felt through the year. It was as if the entire country was consumed by the electoral results. All the major political events in 2013 were, in one way or another, connected to the 13th GE. Two of the more important matters arising from the GE were the popular vote and the increased electoral importance for BN of East Malaysia. When historians look back on 2013, they will see a country deeply divided by racial and religious politics, with the Najib government seemingly unwilling to confront right wing groups promoting religious bigotry and a racial agenda. The GE triggered a barricade mentality in UMNO and right wing groups who seemed determined to spread the ideology of hate, using fear as their weapon.


Publication title

Southeast Asian Affairs








School of Humanities


Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2014 Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Government and politics not elsewhere classified