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Coalition Politics and Democratic Consolidation in Asia$
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E. Sridharan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198079392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198079392.001.0001

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Coalition Politics in Malaysia

Coalition Politics in Malaysia

(p.74) 2 Coalition Politics in Malaysia
Coalition Politics and Democratic Consolidation in Asia

Khadijah Md. Khalid

Zakaria Haji Ahmad

Oxford University Press

There are two notable inter-related features which has characterised Malaysian electoral politics, namely consociationalism and coalition party system. Consociationalism as communal representation is given concrete expression in coalition politics which provides for power-sharing in government. More specifically, the Alliance and later on the Barisan Nasional (BN) inter-ethnic accommodation formula has been the defining and dominating feature of Malaysian politics since independence in 1957. This chapter is an exercise in both historical and contemporary analysis of the development of Malaysian coalition politics. It looks at the continuities and discontinuities with a postscript on the 12th general election (8 March 2008) as projection on the future of Malaysian coalition politics. Consociationalism is set to remain integral to Malaysian politics even with the emergence of the alternative Pakatan Rakyat (PR) which in itself is a coalition of three major parties. Thus, there is a real possibility of Malaysia developing from a single coalition party system to a two coalition party system.

Keywords:   Barisan Nasional (BN), communalism, consociationalism, developmental politics, ethnic politics, Pakatan Rakyat (PR), two coalition-party system

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