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Malaysia Election Results 2013 Analysis Essay

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All 222 seats to the Dewan Rakyat
112 seats needed for a majority
Turnout11,257,147 (84.84%)[2]

Results in parliamentary ridings

General elections were held in Malaysia on Sunday, 5 May 2013 for members of the 13th Parliament. State elections also took place in 505 state constituencies in 12 out of 13 states (excluding Sarawak) on the same day.

The incumbent right-wing Barisan Nasional led by Prime MinisterNajib Razak won a second term against the opposition centre-left Pakatan Rakyat led by Opposition LeaderAnwar Ibrahim, after Barisan Nasional formed a majority government at a federal level. Barisan Nasional won 133 seats in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat and 47.38% of the vote whereas the informal coalition, Pakatan Rakyat contesting under a different election symbol, saw a slight increase in both support and seats, winning 50.87% of the popular vote and 89 seats. This was the best performance shown by the opposition bloc against the federal ruling Barisan Nasional, and the first time Barisan Nasional won less of the popular vote than the opposition. Because Barisan Nasional nonetheless won more parliamentary seats than the opposition, the elections were followed by protests and accusations of gerrymandering.[3]


Key dates[edit]

The Malaysian Parliament was dissolved on 3 April 2013 by Tuanku Abdul Halim, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Tun Razak.[4] The Prime Minister made a televised statement announcing the dissolution of the 12th Parliament at 11:30 am local time the same day.[5] Following the dissolution of Parliament, a general election was required to be held within 60 days, between 3 April and 2 June 2013, with the date to be decided by the Election Commission.

On 10 April 2013, the Election Commission of Malaysia announced that nominations for election candidates would be held on 20 April, with the general election set for 5 May. The early voting date of 30 April was also announced by the Election Commission.[6] Official campaigning began on 20 April, which allowed for a 15-day campaigning period.[7] Postal voting for eligible overseas Malaysians was announced to happen on 28 April 2013. Malaysian representative offices would open on that day for this purpose from 9 am to 6 pm local time. Offices in London and Melbourne would close at 8 pm instead, for the number of postal voters registered in those cities exceeded 1,000.[8]

Political system[edit]

Malaysia is one of the most ethnically diverse countries, with a majority Malay population in addition to Chinese and Indian minorities, so the political parties are also diverse. Parties engage ethnic divisions, and conflicts over power play out between political parties that represent specific ethnic groups. According to the author Lim Hong Hai, writing in 2002, “over 80 per cent of Malaysia’s population of over 23 million is found in Peninsular Malaysia, where the Malays form the largest ethnic group followed by the Chinese and Indians. All these ethnic groups are minorities in Sabah and Sarawak, where native ethnic groups other than the Malays make up about 60 per cent and 50 per cent of the population, respectively.”[9]

The Federation of Malaya is composed of 11 states in the Malay Peninsula that gained independence from Britain in 1957, and two states from the Borneo Island, Sabah and Sarawak which became members of the Federation of Malaya in 1963.[9]

Barisan Nasional[edit]

Ruling party, Barisan Nasional (BN) consists of 13 parties and has 137 seats in the parliament. In history, BN has dominated the political framework and easily won each election since the first national vote in 1959.[10]

The incumbent Barisan Nasional coalition returned to power in the 2008 general elections with 140 seats. The opposition parties that would later form the Pakatan Rakyat coalition won a total of 82 seats, thereby denying the BN its two-thirds majority which is required to pass amendments to the Federal Constitution.

Following their losses, then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced on 8 October 2008 that he was stepping down, resigning his post as United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party leader.[11][12] A leadership election was held on 26 March 2009, where then Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister-designate Najib Tun Razak was elected unopposed as the UMNO party leader.[13] On 2 April 2009, Prime Minister Abdullah tendered his resignation to the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin (who was the Yang di-Pertuan Agong) which was consented. On 3 April 2009, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was sworn-in as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia at the Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in front of Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.[14]

Pakatan Rakyat[edit]

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has 76 seats in the Malaysian Parliament and is composed of three large parties. Pakatan Rakyat gained control of five out of thirteen state assemblies (has since lost one state assembly-Perak to BN due to defection) and 10 of the 11 parliamentary seats in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Leader of the OppositionAnwar Ibrahim, also the head of Pakatan Rakyat was returned to parliament after a ten-year absence following his victory in the Permatang Pauh by-election. The by-election was triggered when his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail resigned from her Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, allowing Anwar to contest the seat and subsequently return to parliament.

Dissolution of state legislative assemblies[edit]

In accordance with Malaysian law, the parliament as well as the legislative assemblies of each state (Dewan Undangan Negeri) would automatically dissolve on the fifth anniversary of the first sitting, and elections must be held within sixty days of the dissolution, unless dissolved prior to that date by their respective Heads of State on the advice of their Heads of Government.

On 28 March 2013, the Negeri Sembilan Legislative Assembly became the first state assembly to dissolve automatically in Malaysian history. The state government would remain in place as a caretaker government and assembly members' constituency offices would remain open to serve the constituencies' needs.[15]

Following the dissolution of the Federal Parliament, state assemblies that have yet to be dissolved have announced their dissolution in quick succession. Below are the dates of which the legislative assemblies of each state were dissolved:[16][17]

The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly was not dissolved as the last election was held in 2011 and the term of the state assembly is due to end in 2016. Only parliamentary elections will be held there.

Electoral system[edit]

The 222 members of the Dewan Rakyat, the dominant house of Parliament, were elected in single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post voting. In the 2013 general election, 11.05 million people voted which was approximately 85 percent of registered voters in total, and it was the highest rate that Malaysia had ever gotten in their electoral history.[20]

Malaysia does not practice compulsory voting and automatic voter registration. The voting age is 21 although the age of majority in the country is 18. The election was conducted by the Election Commission of Malaysia.


See also: Malaysian general election, 2013 § Manifestos

Even before the dissolution of Parliament, both the incumbent BN and Pakatan Rakyat brought up a number of issues and incentives to be given to the Malaysian electorate to gain a decisive advantage during the election. Both coalitions released separate election manifestos dealing with issues such as minimum wage, taxation, assistance to small-medium industries, racial relations and financial assistance to the poor.[21] The 2013 elections also saw a number of new measures introduced that are intended to improve the electoral process.

Election firsts[edit]

Since the 2008 general election a Parliament Select Committee was formed to make recommendations to improve the country's electoral process.[22] The general election in 2013 brought about the introduction of Indelible ink to prevent voters from voting more than once. The indelible ink was mooted for use during the elections in 2008 but was scrapped by the Election Commission at the last minute.[23] However, it was a source of controversy as reports of voters claiming that the indelible ink could be easily washed off were circulated in the media.[24]

There was also advanced voting for civil servants and military personnel in place of postal voting. This was partly in response to protests by election watchdog groups and opposition parties that the previous voting procedures were not transparent and prone to manipulation.[25][26]

The Election Commission introduced for the first time postal voting for Malaysians who resided overseas. However, these came with conditions, among them being that overseas Malaysians have to have been in Malaysia a number of times in the last five years. Overseas Malaysians residing in Singapore, southern Thailand, Brunei or Kalimantan in Indonesia were also not qualified to register as postal voters but had to return to their constituency if they were to cast their ballots.[27]

The EC also permitted the disabled to bring along an assistant into the polling booth to aid them in the voting process.[28]

Barisan Nasional[edit]

When Najib took over from Abdullah Badawi, he began enlarging the budget of the Prime Minister's Department, where he appointed Koh Tsu Koon to be in charge of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP), which includes monitoring the performance of ministries and six national key result areas (NKRAs) through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). He also appointed the former CEO of Malaysian AirlinesIdris Jala to help monitor the implementation of the KPIs in the form of the government's Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu).[29]

Najib's administration also introduced the slogan 1Malaysia in which he called for the embracing all Malaysians of various ethnic groups, national unity and efficient governance. This became public policy, involving various initiatives like the introduction of discount grocery stores to help the poor, 1Malaysia clinics providing free basic medical services and free email accounts (1Malaysia Email) for the Malaysian populace. His administration also began the distribution of financial aid to Malaysian households earning less than RM3,000 called 1Malaysia People's Aid or Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M). A second round of BR1M financial allocations were made out in February 2013 totalling RM2.6 billion.[30]

Another issue that arosed was UMNO endorsing controversial candidates from the Malay right-wing group Perkasa to contest in the upcoming elections such as Zulkifli Noordin and Ibrahim Ali.[31] Although Ibrahim Ali contested the Pasir Mas parliamentary seat as an independent candidate, the BN candidate who was supposed to challenge Ibrahim Ali did not file his nomination papers. The Pasir Mas parliamentary seat was the only seat without a BN candidate in this election.[32][33]

During the election campaign, Muhyiddin Yassin, the incumbent Deputy Prime Minister had called for Malay Muslims to fight the alleged spread of LGBT movements and freedom of religion among the Malays.[34] Furthermore, Najib has said that his government will defend the prohibition of the usage of the word 'Allah' by non-Muslims, which is currently being challenged in court.[35][36][37]

BN manifesto[edit]

The national BN manifesto pledges the following commitments to be realised within the next 5 years if and when they secure a mandate to form the next Malaysian government:[38]

Cost of Living

  1. Increasing financial assistance BR1M 2015 online to RM1200 for households and RM600 for singles annually
  2. Increasing 1Malaysia Book Vouchers to RM300 and Schooling Aid to RM150
  3. Gradually reduce car prices by 20–30%
  4. Increase the competitiveness of national cars
  5. Increase the number of Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia
  6. Introduce 1Malaysia products in petrol stations and hypermarkets
  7. Open 1Malaysia clinics in high density housing communities
  8. Set up more 1Malaysia Day Care Centers
  9. Lower broadband fees by at least 20% with guaranteed bandwidth
  10. Introduce a 1Country 1Price policy for essential goods
  11. Introduce more 1Malaysia products

Urban Well-being

  1. Set up a new Ministry to address urban economic and social challenges
  2. Increase representation of NGOs and civil society in local government
  3. Rehabilitate low cost houses and flats in cities
  4. Undertake the maintenance of public housing infrastructure
  5. Provide quality public housing, catering to the needs of the younger generation
  6. Provide recreational areas and facilities in urban centres
  7. Ensure sufficient educational, training and healthcare services and facilities
  8. Improve the transport links between urban centres and their surrounds
  9. Open more temporary shelters for the homeless in high demand areas

Affordable & Secure Housing

  1. Build 1,000,000 affordable homes including 500,000 PR1MA houses
  2. Pricing PR1MA houses at 20% below market prices or cheaper
  3. Introduce a lease and own scheme for Government housing projects
  4. Revive abandoned housing projects
  5. Assist poor home owners to rehabilitate their houses
  6. Replace squatter settlements with permanent housing
  7. Improve housing in estates and providing houses for former estate workers
  8. Abolish stamping fees for first home purchases below RM400,000

Quality Health Services

  1. Provide every Malaysian with access to quality healthcare
  2. Establish a Heart Centre and Cancer Centre in 6 locations (4 in Peninsular Malaysia, 1 each for Sabah and Sarawak)
  3. Provide public facilities for dialysis treatment in every high-density area
  4. Provide discounted prices of specific medications for Malaysians with special needs
  5. Introduce a support system for palliative home care for the aged and terminally ill

Public Transportation

  1. Expand the Rapid Bus System to every state capital, with facilities for the aged and disabled
  2. Continue expansion of rail systems
  3. Build integrated bus, rail and taxi terminals in all towns and cities
  4. Re-route buses to ensure more efficient and accessible services
  5. Increase individual taxi permits
  6. Implement a national high-speed rail and expand the double-tracked railway system

Infrastructure Development & Rural Transformation

  1. Rapidly expand the North-South Expressway with more lands and exits
  2. Build a Pan Borneo Highway from Semantan, Sarawak to Serudung, Sabah
  3. Extend the East Coast Highway from Kuala Krai – Kota Bharu & Gambang – Segamat
  4. Build a West Coast Highway from Banting to Taiping
  5. Reduce intra-city tolls
  6. Implement the 21st Century Village concept
  7. Build more paved roads (6,300 km in Peninsular Malaysia, 2,500 km in Sabah and 2,800 km in Sarawak)
  8. Solve the water supply problems in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Kelantan
  9. Extend supply of clean water to another 320,000 homes
  10. Expand electricity supply to another 146,000 homes
  11. Compel service providers to ensure quality mobile phone services


  1. Attract RM1.3 trillion of investments
  2. Create 3.3 million new jobs, two million of which will be in high-income sectors
  3. Build towards a per capita income of US$15,000 by year 2020
  4. Provide special incentives for innovative and creative ventures
  5. Implement policies that are fair and equitable to all races in Malaysia
  6. Enhance the effectiveness of the Bumiputra agenda
  7. Allocate more land and increase productivity of land for food and livestock production
  8. Reform the tax structure to reduce personal and corporate tax
  9. Continue special funding exceeding 20% of oil and gas revenue to oil and gas producing states
  10. Establish a National Trading Company to source overseas markets for SME products
  11. Create & promote more global and regional champions
  12. Divesting non-strategic GLCs and increasing outsourcing programmes for Bumiputra companies
  13. Provide RM500 million in seed funds to increase the equity of the Indian community to at least 3%
  14. Set up a special unit to ensure successful implementation of policies for the Indian community
  15. Increase access to microcredit for all Malaysians, including RM100 million for hawkers and petty traders

Educational Excellence

  1. Bring Malaysia into the "top third category" of the best education systems in the world
  2. Improve the command of Bahasa Malaysia and English among students
  3. Make English a compulsory SPM pass subject
  4. Improve access to quality education for rural and minority communities
  5. Provide more merit-based scholarships
  6. Continue special allocations to all types of schools
  7. Expand Single Session Schooling
  8. Revamp Teacher Training Colleges & raise the qualification bar for trainee teachers
  9. Introduce a simplified teaching and learning system for Bahasa Malaysia in Chinese and Tamil schools
  10. Build more schools of all types
  11. Enhance performance in Mathematics and Science
  12. Provide financial incentives of RM100,000 for schools with classes for special needs children
  13. Convert SJKTs that wish to change status into fully aided schools
  14. Set up ICT labs in all schools that require them
  15. Transform vocational schools into colleges and increase enrolment to 20% of student population
  16. Expand pre-school education to cover all types of schools
  17. Provide new career pathways for fast tracking promotion of 420,000 teachers
  18. Provide free WiFi on all public institution campuses
  19. Introduce a laptop ownership scheme in schools

Security & Public Safety

  1. Add four thousand police personnel per year
  2. Strengthen the Motorcycle Patrol Unit by 5000 vehicles
  3. Enhance the total capability of the Armed Forces
  4. Strengthen the Police Commission
  5. Use the 6P system to curb the influx of illegal foreigners
  6. Create the SafeCam Programme to link up private and public CCTV systems
  7. Expansion of CCTV monitoring for high traffic public areas
  8. Introduce security initiatives in public housing schemes
  9. Enrol an additional 50,000 Police Volunteer Reserves

Women's Participation

  1. Increase the number of women in national decision-making
  2. Promote gender equality
  3. Provide more business and income opportunities for women
  4. Create for incentives for work-from-home initiatives
  5. Open 1Malaysia Daycare centres in all GLCs and Government Offices
  6. Tighten laws regarding sexual abuse and harassment in homes and at work


  1. Provide funding, training and incentives for youth-centric commercial ventures
  2. Provide commercial space for youths to exhibit & market creative products and services
  3. Establish incubators to nurture leadership and creativity
  4. Provide more free WiFi hotspots in rural and semi-urban areas
  5. Produce more high performance athletes & promoting a healthy lifestyle
  6. Revisit laws pertaining to entertainment to promote performing arts & culture

Social Safety Nets

  1. Streamline and improve safety net assistance
  2. Provide financial assistance & educational opportunities for lower income earners
  3. Turn Brickfields into a blind-friendly zone
  4. Set up special courts to deal with Native Customary Rights (NCR) issues
  5. Gazette all native customary land in consultation with State Governments
  6. Provide more income generating opportunities within indigenous communities
  7. Provide funds for registered NGOs and Civil Society Movements

Upholding Islam, Respecting Religious Freedom & Harmony

  1. Uphold Islam as the religion of the Federation
  2. Promote the Syiar & Syariat of Islam in accordance with the principles of Maqasia Syariah
  3. Ensure other religions can be practised in peace and harmony
  4. Assign jurisdiction over non-Muslim matters to a Minister
  5. Practise moderation in all undertakings
  6. Increase initiatives in uniting the ummah
  7. Unlock income from developing wakaf land in co-operation with State Religious Authorities
  8. Increase tax exemptions for contributions to construction, expansion and upkeep of places of worship
  9. Continue to allocate land for building places of worship
  10. Provide more financial assistance to religious institutions & places of worship
  11. Improve the welfare of Imam, mosque officials & Guru-Guru Kafa
  12. Upgrade the quality of and provide financial assistance to Sekolah Agama Rakyat

Fighting Corruption

  1. Publicly disclose contracts to enhance transparency in Government procurement
  2. Establish a Service Commission in MACC
  3. Elevate the Head & Senior Officers of the MACC to a higher level
  4. Give equal emphasis on investigations into bribe givers and receivers
  5. Fast track access to the Auditor-General's Performance Audit Report
  6. Establish additional special corruption Sessions and High Courts
  7. Implement integrity pacts for MPs and State Assemblymen

Public Service & Governance

  1. Introduce the Transformative Salary Scheme for civil servants
  2. Include more opportunities for promotion and development in the civil service
  3. Extend the tenure of contract officers and appointing them who are competent
  4. Expand Urban Transformation Centres to all major cities and towns
  5. Mobilize and empower the civil service
  6. Improve counter services through appointment of multi-racial frontliners and expanding on-line services
  7. Introduce recruitment programmes to ensure a fair mix of all races in civil service
  8. Enhance the potential, capacity & capability of all civil servants
  9. Give special attention to the disabled

A Global Movement of Moderates

  1. Fight for the establishment of a Palestinian state
  2. Support the realisation of ASEAN as an economic community by 2015
  3. Vie for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council
  4. Enhance economic & bilateral interests with major trading partners
  5. Take the lead in fighting trans-national crimes
  6. Spearhead humanitarian outreach programmes in conflict areas

Preserving Nature

  1. Give financial incentives to ventures which invest in renewable green energy
  2. Allocate more space for green lungs within major cities
  3. Increase allocations and enact stricter laws to preserve rivers, forests and strategic conservation areas
  4. Undertake reforestation programmes
  5. Increase educational programmes to inculcate appreciation of the environment
  6. Employ green and state of the art technologies in waste disposal & management

Pakatan Rakyat[edit]

The opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has remain focused on the good governance of the Malaysian states (Kedah, Penang, Kelantan and Selangor) that they currently control despite not getting full assistance from the federal government[39] One of the points they have made is the strong economic performance of the two states of Penang and Selangor which were reported in the media to have attracted higher business investments compared to other state governments with a BN majority.[40] Some aspects of Pakatan's Election Manifesto is borrowed from their administrative masterplan Buku Jingga.[41] In 2011, Penang and Selangor recorded a total of RM 17.8 billion in investments in the manufacturing sector, slightly more than 30% of the national share.[42]

PR announced its intention to replace the criticisedNew Economic Policy which they claim was discriminatory and only benefited certain groups of people, such as UMNO-connected individuals.[43][44] Another main election promise they brought up was to cut the amount of spending wastages and the usage of direct aid to pay for social causes and provide free education around the country.[45] One of the other issues is the Pakatan Rakyat's tussle for control of water company Syabas with the federal government, which has allegedly been mismanaging their operations.[46][47] They have promised to give free water for the poor and unfortunate in the state of Selangor.[48]

PR also promised to close down the Lynas Advance Materials Plant situated in Kuantan, Pahang if it is deemed unsafe.[49][50] This received the support of Himpunan Hijau, the green movement opposed to the operations of the Lynas plant, whose chairman, Wong Tack will be contesting in the elections under the DAP banner.[51][52]

PR also promised to increase the petroleum royalty payments from national oil company Petronas to petroleum-producing states (Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak) in Malaysia,[53] irrespective of the party that forms the next state government.[54][55]

On 13 April 2013, the Registrar of Societies (ROS) sent a letter to DAP, that due to technical glitches in the party polls, several of DAP's members were requested to attend an inquiry on 18 April 2013. This could have endangered DAP's chance to contest in the general election due to fears that the party might be deregistered.[56][57] DAP had mulled the intention for their candidates to contest under the banner of PKR and PAS, butreceived assurance from the ROS that their symbol could be used legally during the general elections.[58][59]

In Sarawak, opposition party DAP had put up election billboards highlighting the issue of murdered Mongolian Altantuyaa Sharibuu, but these billboards were torn down by enforcement officers. Following protests made by local DAP members, it was explained that the election billboards were removed as it depicted a person who was not contesting in the elections.[60][61][62]

PR manifesto[edit]

The national PR manifesto has outlined the actions they will take if they form the next Malaysian government.[63]

The Fraternity of the People

  1. Eliminate discrimination
  2. Respect the position of Islam as the official religion, while guaranteeing the freedom of other religions
  3. Elevate culture as the positive foundation of community living
  4. Raise from 5% to 20% the royalty payments for oil- and gas-producing states
  5. Set up a contribution fund for married women, with the government contributing RM50 per month and their husbands contributing RM10 – RM100 per month
  6. Provide a bonus of RM1,000 annually to each senior citizen aged 60 and above
  7. Allocate RM220 million annually to 1,854 Sekolah Janaan Rakyat
  8. Recognize the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) for admission to tertiary education and as academic qualification for jobs
  9. Restore the autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak in accordance with the provision of the Federal Constitution
  10. Ensure equitable power-sharing between Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia
  11. Cleanup of the citizenship registry list and curb the granting of false citizenships
  12. Set up a Land Commission to investigate, resolve disputes, rejuvenate, study and restore Native Customary Rights to their rightful owners
  13. Affirm the appointment of Sabahans and Sarawakians to hold offices in the Government
  14. Raise the level of infrastructure development in Sabah and Sarawak
  15. Reserve 141,000 ha of Orang Asli land to be returned to them
  16. Supply clean water and electricity to 852 Orang Asli settlements
  17. Award a total of 5,000 educational scholarships to Orang Asli children

The following actions have been pledged to be implemented immediately, in accordance with the Kuching Declaration:

  • Eliminate the cabotage system that increases the price of household goods in Sabah and Sarawak
  • Create investment incentives conditional upon the creation of job opportunities in Sabah and Sarawak
  • Establishing two tier-2 oil companies owned by the Governments of Sabah and Sarawak that will join the country's oil and gas industry
  • Initiate the construction of highways across Sabah and Sarawak which will connect Kuching to Kota Kinabalu and Kudat
  • Halt the construction of dams that destroy the environment and displace the local population from their homes

The People's Economy

  1. Provide one million job opportunities for the people within five years via progressive reduction of foreign workers
  2. Introduce a minimum wage scheme of RM1,100 per month
  3. Allocate RM2 billion for automation incentives and grants to eligible companies to facilitate implementation of minimum wage scheme
  4. Train one million school leavers without higher education under the People's Pioneer Scheme
  5. Set up five technical universities within ten years
  6. Build twenty-five new vocational schools throughout the country
  7. Set up a Royal Commission to study the overall improvement of the education system
  8. Abolish all laws which are biased and oppressive to the working class
  9. Provide funding to cultivate a smart partnership of trade unions, employees and employers
  10. Set up a National Innovation Fund totalling RM500 million
  11. Reshuffle tax incentives to shift the focus of assistance from large industries to SMIs
  12. Revamp the 26% personal income tax bracket to affect individuals earning more than RM400,000 instead of the current RM250,000
  13. Halt operations of the Lynas rare earth plant in Gebeng, Pahang
  14. Review the implementation phases of the RAPID project in Pengerang
  15. Reform all existing legislation related to logging, and regulate logging activities
  16. Allocate RM500 million to assist participation of ex-soldiers in economic activities
  17. Increase the government contribution to the Armed Forces Fund Board (AFFB) from 15% to 20%
  18. Introduce a Soldiers’ Dividend which will remunerate non-pensionable veterans to the amount of RM2,000 per year
  19. Introduce individual taxi permits
  20. Train taxi entrepreneurs in customer service and business skills
  21. Provide fuel subsidies to taxi entrepreneurs
  22. Expand the scope of permitted investments and grants under the existing Petroleum Fund
  23. Provide tax relief for goods or services derived from R&D in universities or public research centres
  24. Provide tax relief in the form of investment incentives and tax relief for research centres and researchers brought in
  25. Provide investment incentives for successfully commercialised Malaysian R&D products
  26. Make public transport free for differently abled people
  27. Remodel the planning of the Klang Valley public transportation system to an integrated plan involving MRT and buses to improve the existing network and access
  28. Examine each contract awarded in the MRT package in light of updated legislation
  29. Invest an additional RM2 billion in the first year to double the number of buses and bus routes in the Klang Valley
  30. Initiate steps towards building the first inter-city high-speed rail system in Southeast Asia
  31. Establish an Anti-Monopoly Commission and amend existing laws relating to competition
  32. Establish a Public Contracts Commission
  33. Dissolve 1MDB so that Khazanah remains the only state investment body
  34. Disposal and handover of government holdings in government-linked companies (GLCs) which are not involved in businesses of national importance
  35. Restructure the role of Ekuinas so that the agency assists in the takeover of GLCs by the management and qualified entrepreneurs
  36. Ensure overall implementation of procurement by open tender in the management of public entities

The People's Well-Being

  1. Distribute gains from the extra oil revenue profit by lowering petrol and diesel prices.
  2. Channel RM25 billion from gas company subsidies directly to the people via reduced electricity tariffs
  3. Discontinue private water management concessions that have resulted in high water tariffs
  4. Take over management of highways with the intention of gradually abolishing tolls
  5. Lower the car excise tax in stages with the intention of abolishing it in 5 years’ time
  6. Liberalise the national automotive industry
  7. Build 150,000 low- and medium- cost homes within the first term of administration
  8. Invest RM 5 billion in the first year for affordable housing, followed by RM 2 billion for the following years
  9. Provide free higher education in all public institutions, and subsidise fees for students in private institutions
  10. Provide a living cost allowance for students who are not financially well-off
  11. Stop implementation of Automatic Enforcement System (AES) for road users and rescind all AES summonses
  12. Review all compensation claims as a result of the GER manipulation and pay appropriate compensation to affected FELDA settlers.
  13. Increase police personnel's remuneration by 15% in stages
  14. Increase personnel strength of the Crime Investigation Department (CID)
  15. Allocate an additional of RM 50 million a year to build police posts in places of high public concentration
  16. Allocate a further RM 200 million a year to increase the police's capabilities and effectiveness in forensic investigation.
  17. Reject all attempts to introduce a healthcare tax
  18. Ensure free healthcare for all Malaysians through government hospitals while incentivising the private sector to provide healthcare services at a reasonable rate
  19. Abolish fees for Class 2 and Class 3 wards.
  20. Abolish monopolies on pharmaceutical supplies, hospital construction, and medical infrastructure
  21. Improve specialist treatments to the low-income group for complicated surgeries
  22. Fulfill the target of one doctor to 550 citizens in the first term of administration
  23. Increase welfare assistance from RM300 a month to RM500 a month
  24. Establish a National Commodity Fund to assist families affected by sudden drops in commodity prices

The People's Government

  1. Add value to wakaf land that will generate economic welfare for the people
  2. Target to double the current Tabung Haji fund amount within ten years of Pakatan Rakyat administration
  3. Ensure that the right to religious freedom and religious practice for other religions will be upheld
  4. Deploy a new remuneration package for civil servants that will factor excellent work performance, length of service and leadership qualities
  5. Implement the 8 demands of BERSIH as electoral reform
  6. Implement automatic voter registration upon reaching eligible voting age
  7. Clean-up electoral roll within 100 days of coming to power
  8. Reform the judiciary, Attorney General's Chambers, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Royal Malaysian Police Force (PDRM)
  9. Restore the powers and freedom of Parliament as the voice of the people
  10. Introduce the parliamentary select committee system in crucial ministries
  11. Abolish all legislation that restricts media freedom
  12. Corporatise government-owned broadcasting institutions such as Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM)
  13. Respect the maturity of media practitioners in operating the media industry
  14. Abolish the Universities and Universities Colleges Act (UUCA) within 100 days of Pakatan Rakyat administration
  15. Selection of vice-chancellor and rectors in public higher education institutions will be made by an independent evaluating committee
  16. Perform a thorough review of all legislations that are in conflict with principles of justice for and freedom of the people and abolish them within the first year
  17. Enforce a Democracy Restoration Act to further strengthen the basic rights of the people
  18. Release and apologise to all Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees from the past to the present
  19. Restructure MACC's power and leadership to rebuild its integrity
  20. Restructure the practices and processes of MACC to focus on investigation and prosecution towards big corruption cases that involve the public interest
  21. Tighten corruption-related legislation (including the Whistleblower Protection Act) to firmly implement anti-corruption laws

Third parties[edit]

The election also brought in the entry of many third parties that influenced the election outcome in many parliament and state seats. Indian-based party Human Rights Party Malaysia, which was instrumental in organising Indians in protests against the government such as Hindraf rally in 2007, contested in several seats in Peninsular Malaysia.[64] Currently, there are two camps in Hindraf: one aligned to Barisan Nasional[65] and another that is neutral.[66]Borneo-based parties such as Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) (a former BN coalition partner) and the State Reform Party (STAR) contested the election on their own after a breakdown in talks with PR in having one to one contests against BN.[67] The entry of these parties have brought about multi-cornered fights in Sabah and Sarawak. One of the main issues they brought up was the increasing number of illegals in Sabah and of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants in Sabah.[68] Furthermore, SAPP and STAR are partners in the United Borneo Front which fights for the equal status of Sabah and Sarawak as stipulated in the Malaysia Agreement that was made in 1963.[69]

Bersih factor[edit]

The election watchdog group Bersih will be a big factor in the elections as they were responsible for organising large rallies calling for the electoral reforms in Malaysia in 2011 and 2012. They have pointed out that the electoral roll was marred by irregularities such as gerrymandering, phantom voters, malapportionment and postal vote fraud. Bersih has also warned against politicians or groups that support intimidation and violence against the electorate.[70][71][72] Bersih has added to its blacklist of politicians who perpetuate the cycle of political violence such as Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi and BN candidate Hamidah Othman.[73][74] Bersih has criticised both the BN-majority federal and PR-majority Selangor state caretaker governments for using government resources for election campaigning purposes.[75][76]


Nominations for candidates were made on 20 April 2013 between 9am and 10am. For the first time in Malaysian electoral history, all seats were contested and no candidate won a seat unopposed, with some candidates facing as many as 6 opponents.[77][78]

There were 579 parliamentary candidates contesting for 222 parliamentary seats, and 1,322 candidates fighting for 505 state seats.[79][80]



During the first three days of the official campaigning period, a total of 387 incidents were reported, with no fewer than 15 people arrested by the police for investigation. On 23 April 2013 in Nibong Tebal, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded at the site of a BN rally, injuring one. The police subsequently discovered a second IED at the site, which was later safely detonated. Both the incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim have condemned the violence.[81][82] The bombings have also been condemned by Bersih who said that all politicians should condemn the violence regardless of party affiliation. Bersih has offered to monitor police reports made on political violence and incidents of electoral misconduct.[83][84]

Opposition political gatherings were disrupted by bikers. On 24 April 2013, a press photographer was assaulted by bikers spotted wearing 1Malaysia shirts at a gathering by DAP in Bukit Gelugor. The state BN chief has denied any connection with the incident.[85][86] Additionally, there have been numerous reports of vandalism against vehicles used by opposition politicians and their supporters. In one incident, two cars belonging to a PKR candidate's daughter were damaged following an arson attempt at her residence in Klang.[87][88][89]

A number of sexually explicit videos allegedly portraying opposition figures have surfaced in cyberspace, notably on blogs hostile towards the Pakatan Rakyat.[90][91][92] The secretary-general of PAS, Datuk Mustafa Ali, who was implicated in one of the videos has denied his involvement, with his lawyer calling the videos "a pure slander campaign by UMNO".[93] In turn, UMNO has sued Mustafa and his lawyer over those allegedly libelous statements.[94] Anwar Ibrahim has also sued UMNO blogger and election candidate Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris for trying to implicate him in one of the explicit videos.[95]

A number of anti-Christian billboards have appeared during the election campaign period, bringing up the ire of the Christian Federation of Malaysia, who have called for the removal of such billboards.[96][97]

Users of several online news and media websites, such as independent news site Malaysiakini have claimed that several Malaysian internet service providers (ISPs) were throttling their access speeds to the sites.[98][99] Several independent websites critical of the government, such as Radio Free Malaysia and Sarawak Report have experienced DDoS attacks.[100][101] Malaysiakini have claimed that their Twitter account was hacked and their videos unaccessible through local ISPs.[102][103]

There have been a number of reports by the opposition alleging that the incumbent government is flying in thousands of foreigners to parts of Malaysia to influence the outcome of the vote in favour of BN.[104][105] BN in turn has denied any wrongdoing, saying these flights were sponsored by "friends of BN".[106][107] Bersih has called the provision of flights for voters an election offence.[108][109] The opposition said that many of their supporters and agents will be monitoring the situation and making citizen's arrests of foreigners who vote.[110][111]


Postal voting for overseas Malaysians were conducted in various Malaysian representative offices around the world. According to the Election Commission (EC), 70% of 8,756 people who were eligible to vote overseas turned up to vote despite some teething problems.[112][113][114]

Early voting was conducted for military, police personnel and their spouses in 544 polling centres throughout Malaysia. It was estimated that there were 270,000 of these voters in total.[115][116][117] There have been several reports regarding the usage of indelible ink for early voters, with some claiming that the ink could be easily washed off.[118][119][120] The Election Commission has promised to conduct investigations on this issue after a number of reports lodged by several opposition parties.[121][122]

Bersih rally in KL in 2011 calling for electoral reforms

1. Background

Prior to the 13th General Election (GE13) we came up with a methodology of predicting election results based on voting patterns in previous elections (reference).

Our method relied on mapping polling lane results to individual voters. This process assigned probability values (chance of turnout; chance of voting for each coalition) to the voter that was not affected if they migrated to another constituency. This is important because between GE12 and GE13 527,849 voters migrated to different constituencies.

The impact of voter migration cannot be measured for a single seat just by comparing results of GE12 and GE13 for that seat. An analysis of the whole country needs to be performed. New voter registrations, voters passing away and voters no longer eligible to vote are other factors that require deep analysis.

After GE13 we were able to apply the same estimation method to voters based on GE13 results. By comparing the shift in probabilities we are able to calculate the swing in support for each coalition. Because we base our calculations on individual voters, we are able to calculate shifts in support based on combinations of the following dimensions:

  • By Age
  • By Race
  • By Gender
  • By Urban Development Category (rural / semi-urban / urban)
  • By Parliament/State Assembly Seat
  • By Polling District
  • By Locality
  • By Seats Won by Specific Parties

Any voter whose level of support cannot be determined is assigned a probability of 50% and categorised as a fence-sitter. The most reliable metric is age because voters are separated into polling lanes based on age. Additionally we have also categorised the 222 Parliament constituencies as rural, semi-urban or urban based on satellite imagery (reference). The descriptions of each category are:

Rural = villages (kampungs) / small towns / farmland distributed within the seat. Rural seats tend to be physically large with a low population.

Semi-urban = larger towns and/or numerous small towns, may include villages as well

Urban = cities where a majority of the seat is covered by some form of urban development

For this report we will focus on how Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Barisan Nasional (BN) performed with regular Malay voters (pengundi biasa) in Peninsular Malaysia. 184 of the total 222 Parliament seats are in Peninsular Malaysia, where most of the Malay electorate is concentrated.

Elections are won based on the number of seats. However our analysis will mainly be on the Malay electorate treated as a set of voters ignoring constituency boundaries. We will examine this at the state-level and for Peninsular Malaysia. This will allow us to see patterns that are not obvious at the seat-level.

Postal and early voters are not part of this analysis. They need to be analysed separately due to their different voting process and difficulties in campaigning to both groups.

Please remember that unless otherwise stated, all statistics in this analysis refer to regular voters in Peninsular Malaysia only.

2. The Ethnic Divide

The 2 graphs below show the gap between ethnic groups in Malaysia by age in 1970 and 2010, from ages 0 – 39 years. This was taken from the National Census.

The top-most line (red) represents Malays, followed by Chinese (yellow), Other Bumiputera (purple) and Indians (blue). Both graphs use the same scale. Compared to 1970 there are more Malay youth in 2010 relative to youth of other ethnicities.

In 1970, the division between races within the total population (10.8 million) was:

  • 44.32% Malay
  • 34.34% Chinese
  • 8.99% Indian
  • 11.69% Bumiputera (non-Malay)
  • 0.67% Others

In 2010, the division between races within the total population (28.9 million) was:

  • 55.07% Malay
  • 24.34% Chinese
  • 7.35% Indian
  • 11.94% Bumiputera (non-Malay)
  • 1.3% Others

In GE13 (2013), the division between races among total voters is estimated to be:

  • 52.63% Malay
  • 29.68% Chinese
  • 7.31% Indian
  • 8.96% Bumiputera (non-Malay)
  • 1.43% Others

It is clear that there is an increasing gap between the Malay electorate and other ethnic groups in terms of population. Assuming that voter registration rates remains the same across ethnic groups, Malay voters will be the deciding force in future elections.

3. Summary of GE 13 Results

In GE13 PR won 89 seats while BN won 133 seats. In Peninsular Malaysia PR won 80 seats while BN won 85 seats. The breakdown of seats won by urban development category is shown in the table below:

Urban Development Category / PartyDAPPKRPASBNTotal

In chart form:

Focusing on the 3 main ethnic groups, the number of regular voters of each ethnicity in seats won by respective parties is shown in the table below:

Ethnic GroupDAPPKRPASBNTotal

In chart form:

By comparing the two sets of data it is clear that BN won the most rural seats and have the most Malay voters (50.75% of the Peninsular Malaysia total).

This table shows the number of ethnic majority seats won by each party:

Ethnic MajorityDAPPKRPASBNTotal
Malay majority0172077114
Chinese majority2200022

In chart form:

Some key points from this chart:

  • DAP won all the Chinese majority seats
  • PKR won a mix of Malay majority and Mixed seats
  • PAS victories were almost entirely in Malay majority seats
  • BN victories were mainly in Malay majority seats

The chart below shows the distribution of voters by ethnicity in Peninsular Malaysia:

The following series of charts show the distribution of voters of each ethnic group based on seats won by each party. For example, this chart shows that 51% of Malay voters reside in seats won by BN:

This table shows the total number of Malay voters by urban development category in seats won by each party:

Ethnic GroupDAPPKRPASBNPRBN(%)PR(%)Ethnic Total
Rural Malay4260499888713951240733685644373.7626.243263779
Semi-Urban Malay208735602279367380685766117839436.7963.211864160
Urban Malay350017515293264902168391113021212.9787.031298603

Key points for this section are:

  • DAP and PKR victories were won mainly in urban and semi-urban seats.
  • PR parties represent 74% of Chinese voters; 68% if PAS is not included
  • BN represents a slim majority of Malay voters at 51% of the Peninsular Malaysia total
  • BN won 83.5% of rural seats containing 73.76% of rural Malay voters
  • PR parties won seats containing 63.21% of semi-urban and 87.03% of urban Malay voters
  • PKR represents the most number of urban Malay voters
  • BN represents more semi-urban Malay voters than any component PR party
  • BN represents 51% of the Malay electorate while PAS represents 21%
  • 70% of the Malay voters in PAS seats are in Kelantan and Terengganu

This section is a general overview that shows the size of the electorate represented by each party. However representation is not the same as support, as each seat has supporters of both PR and BN. Support is covered in the following sections.

4. Measuring Regular Voter Support by Age

During the election voters are grouped into polling lanes based on age. The results of each lane are reflective of support by the age group. By mapping registered voters to polling lane results we can estimate the support by race and age.

The scatter plot below shows the average probability of Malay voters in a specific polling lane voting for PR:

Each point in the graph represents one polling lane. The horizontal scale shows the percentage of Malay voters in the lane. The vertical scale shows the percentage probability of Malay voters in that lane of voting for PR. Fence-sitters are not shown in this graph.

Taking the highlighted point above – for that specific polling lane with 30.24% Malay voters, there is a 75.69% chance that those Malay voters will vote for PR. The remaining 69.76% of voters of other ethnicities will have their own set of probabilities.

Any point above the 50% probability line is good for PR. From this scatter plot we can tell that PR does well in mixed polling lanes. When the percentage of Malay voters is between 10% – 50% support is clustered around the 50% – 70% range.

When the percentage of Malay voters increases over 44% the Malay vote begins to split. BN has better support with 65% of polling lanes having less than 50% probability of voting for PR. Including fence-sitters, BN does better in 44.5% of polling lanes.

For comparison, here is the scatter plot for Chinese voters:

There is a clear trend of the probability of Chinese voters voting for PR increasing as the percentage of Chinese voters increase.

The following graph shows how average Malay voter support shifted by age group, divided by seats won by respective parties. This was calculated by taking the average of individual support values from voters across all seats for each age group. This gives a picture of how Malay voters in those seats favoured the winning party.

Some key points from this graph are:

  • DAP had the highest positive swing from Malays of almost all ages
  • PAS had positive swing from voters below 36 years, with negative swing from older voters
  • PR had positive swing from voters below 36 years in seats won by BN, with negative swing from older voters
  • PKR had the least improvement with positive swing from voters below 30 years and a much higher negative swing from older voters
  • The common pattern among all parties is that the youth swung closer to PR while middle-aged and older Malay voters showed less improvement or swung away from PR

This graph shows the average level of support from Malay voters in seats won by respective parties after the swing in GE13. Anything close to or above 50% is good for PR.

Some key points from this graph are:

  • PAS has the highest level of support from Malay voters in their seats
  • PKR has marginal (close to 50%) support from Malay voters in their 40s and below
  • DAP has weak support from Malay voters in their 40s and below
  • PR has the weakest support from Malay voters in seats won by BN
  • PR would need support to swing by an average of 10% in BN seats to secure the middle-aged and younger Malay vote
  • There is a downward trend in support from Malay voters as they get older, though PAS remains in the best position

This section describes voter support by age, taken as an average of support across voters within each age group. These graphs do not show the number of voters – a large negative swing from a small group of voters can be easily offset by a small positive swing from a large group of voters.

These graphs only serve as an indicator of where average support levels are at and what direction they are heading in. Because averages of positive and negative swing values can results in a net positive or negative, we need to look at individual voter support levels to get a more accurate reading.

5. Measuring Overall Regular Voter Support

Because individual voters have their own support and swing statistics, we can calculate the proportion of the electorate that is leaning towards PR (>50% probability of voting PR); leaning towards BN (<50% probability of voting PR); and on the fence (50% probability of voting PR). Voters who are leaning BN might still vote for PR, so this metric is only an indicator of how good the odds are for PR/BN to win support from the electorate.

The two charts below show the predicted and estimated support from all voters in Peninsular Malaysia. By comparing the two we can see how support has shifted.

Prior to GE13, the electorate was evenly divided between PR and BN with 20% being fence-sitters. After GE13 PR increased their share of support by 4% while BN lost 4%. The proportion of fence-sitters remains the same at 20%.

The charts below show voter support from the Malay electorate:

Based on GE12 results, the predicted support for PR from the Malay electorate was not high at 32%. After GE13 support for PR dropped to 30%. It is worth noting that 59% of the Malay electorate are leaning BN but BN seats only represent 51% of the Malay electorate.

In the previous section we showed there was a positive swing to PR from young Malay voters. When we measure total support from Malay voters aged 35 and below (in 2013) we get the following charts:

PR gained 5% support from the Malay youth while BN lost 3% support. The percentage of fence-sitters reduced by 2%.

The table below show additional insight into differences between rural and urban Malay voters, for both total voters and the overall youth. The estimated GE13 support is shown, with swing values in parentheses.

Total Malay Electorate

Urban Development CategoryLeaning PRFence-sittersLeaning BN
Rural28% (-3%)6% (-1%)66% (+4%)
Semi-Urban30% (-1%)13% (no change)57% (+1%)
Urban38% (+3%)17% (-4%)45% (+1%)

Malay Youth (<=35 years old)

Urban Development CategoryLeaning PRFence-sittersLeaning BN
Rural35% (no change)5% (no change)60% (no change)
Semi-Urban40% (+7%)10% (no change)50% (-7%)
Urban48% (+13%)9% (-7%)43% (-6%)

Malay Youth (<=35 years old), in seats won

Winning PartyLeaning PRFence-sittersLeaning BN
PKR45% (+6%)6% (-8%)49% (+2%)
DAP35% (+18%)22% (-4%)43% (-14%)
PAS73% (+8%)5% (+1%)22% (-9%)
BN22% (no change)6% (no change)72% (no change)

When we look at the total Malay electorate, BN gained support of 4% in rural seats. This is not a good indicator for PR as 73/81 rural seats are Malay majority seats.

PR made large gains from Malay youth in urban seats. However the swing in support from Malay youth in rural seats did not result in any significant change. While PR (primarily PAS) did make gains in their rural seats, any gains were offset by BN’s victories in their rural seats.

PAS has the highest support from Malay youth in seats that they won, while DAP showed the most improvement. However the number of Malay youths in DAP seats is small at 205 thousand versus PKR’s 413 thousand, PAS’ 516 thousand and BN’s 1.14 million.

Key points for this section:

  • PR gained support of 4% of the total Peninsular Malaysia electorate while BN lost 4%
  • PR lost support of 2% from the total Malay electorate while BN gained 2%
  • PR made gains from urban Malay voters but lost support from rural and semi-urban voters
  • BN increased support by 1% in semi-urban and urban seats but gained 4% support in rural seats
  • PR gained support of 5% from Malay youth while BN lost 3%. This change in support came from semi-urban and urban seats
  • There was no significant change in support from Malay youth in rural seats
  • PAS had the highest support from Malay youth
  • 59% of the Malay electorate are leaning BN but BN seats only represent 51% of the Malay electorate

6. Performance by State

In this section we will present a series of notes and statistics covering Malay voter support in each state.

6.1 Overall support and swing values from Malay voters

The estimated GE13 support is shown, with swing values in parentheses. The number of seats in each state is shown in parentheses.

StateLeaning PRFence-sittersLeaning BN
Johor10% (+9%)17% (+3%)73% (-12%)
Kedah36% (-16%)7% (+1%)57% (+15%)
Kelantan62% (-6%)4% (no change)34% (+6%)
Melaka10% (+8%)10% (-1%)80% (-7%)
Negeri Sembilan8% (no change)13% (no change)79% (no change)
Pahang15% (-1%)7% (-2%)78% (+3%)
Pulau Pinang32% (-4%)20% (-2%)48% (+6%)
Perak18% (-9%)14% (-2%)68% (+11%)
Perlis20% (-2%)3% (+1%)77% (+1%)
Selangor37% (no change)13% (-3%)50% (+3%)
Terengganu42% (+12%)5% (+1%)53% (-13%)
WP Kuala Lumpur28% (-10%)21% (-7%)51% (+17%)
WP Putrajaya0% (-10%)0% (-6%)100% (+16%)


Putrajaya is notable for having 100% of its Malay voters leaning towards BN. The number of voters more than doubled since GE12, growing from 6,608 voters (93% Malay) to 15,791 voters (94% Malay). 46% of the new voters were transferred-in from other states.

In GE13 Husam Musa (PAS) received 31% of the vote. In simple terms this means that there is a 31% probability of voters voting for PR in Putrajaya. For a 94% Malay majority seat that translates into Malay voters considered to be leaning BN due to the voters having a <50% chance of voting for PR.

6.2 Swing and average support levels from Malay voters by age

The number of seats won by each party is listed after each state. Support levels in the note refer to average support by age group for specific parties. Swing values are calculated from averages.

For each state we will mention if there is a downward trend pattern in swing levels. This is where we observed a tendency for negative swing increasing with age or positive swing decreasing with age.


PKR: 1

DAP: 4

BN: 21

Positive swing in support for PR in all seats, starting as high as +9% (PKR) with the young voters and declining with older voters.

PKR seats had the highest level of support (44% and below) followed by DAP (40% and below) and BN (31% and below).


Downward trend observed.



PKR: 4

PAS: 1

BN: 10

Negative swing in support for PR in PAS, PKR and BN seats, between -1% to -8%. PAS had less negative swing compared to PKR and BN.

PAS seats had the highest level of support (55% and below) followed by PKR seats (50% and below) and BN seats (47% and below).


Downward trend observed.



PAS: 9

BN: 5

Positive swing in support for PR in PAS seats from voters aged 30 and below. Negative swing for other ages in PAS seats. Negative swing in BN seats for all ages.

Support in PAS seats remained high at 62% and below. Support for PR in BN seats was at 48% and below.


Downward trend observed.



PKR: 1

DAP: 1

BN: 4

Positive swing in support for PR in all seats, except for PKR between ages 42 – 54 where it was negative.

PKR seats had the highest support (43% and below) while DAP maintained a range of support between 34% – 39% with support being higher for middle-aged voters aged 36 – 45 (40% – 43% support).


Support remained low in BN seats at 34% and below.


Downward trend observed.


Negeri Sembilan

PKR: 1

DAP: 2

BN: 5

Positive swing in support for PR in DAP and BN seats for ages 37 and below and 46 – 51. Negative swing for other age groups. Negative swing for PKR seats in all age groups.

PKR seats had the highest support (43% and below) with support being highest among middle-aged voters (36 – 41). DAP seats had support at 39% and below while BN seats had support at 35% and below.


Downward trend observed.


PKR: 2

DAP: 1

PAS: 1

BN: 10

Positive swing in support for PR in all seats for ages 36 and below, negative swing for other ages.

Support was highest in PKR seats (53% and below) followed by PAS seats (50% and below). DAP and BN seats had very similar levels of support between 36% – 38%.


Downward trend observed.


Pulau Pinang

PKR: 3

DAP: 7

BN: 3

Positive swing in support for PR in DAP seats for all ages except 41 – 56 where swing was negative. Negative swing in PKR seats for all ages.

Positive swing in BN seats for specific age ranges: 25 and below, 36 – 39, 68 and above. There was negative swing in other age groups.


Support was highest in PKR seats at 56% and below, with highest levels between ages 35 – 40. Support in DAP seats was at 49% and below. Support in BN seats was at 44% and below, with highest levels between ages 37 – 42.


Downward trend observed for ages 37 – 56.



PKR: 3

DAP: 7

PAS: 2

BN: 12

Positive swing in support for PR in DAP seats for ages 37 and below. Positive swing in PKR seats for ages 28 and below. Negative swing in PAS and BN seats for all ages.

Support was highest in PAS seats (52% and below) followed by PKR seats (49% and below), DAP seats (46% and below) and BN seats (42% and below).



BN: 3

Positive swing in support for PR in BN seats for all ages except 65 and 82 year olds. The swing was highest among the youth at +7.4% and below.

Support in BN seats remained at 45% and below.


Downward trend observed.



PKR: 9

DAP: 4

PAS: 4

BN: 5

Positive swing in support for PR in DAP seats for all ages. Positive swing in PKR seats for voters aged 35 and below, negative swing for other ages.

Positive swing in PAS seats for voters aged 33 – 36, negative swing for other ages. Negative swing in BN seats for all ages except 25 – 26 where there was a marginal <1% positive swing.


Support was highest in PAS seats at 54% and below, with the highest levels in the middle-aged group (38 – 45).


DAP seats maintained similar support levels as PAS with support at 53% and below. PKR seats had support at 51% and below.


BN seats had support at 45% and below.


Downward trend observed.




PAS: 4

BN: 4

Positive swing in support for PR in all seats, with swing being highest with the younger generation at +8% and below.

Support remained high in PAS seats at 57% and below, while BN seats had support at 44% and below.


Downward trend observed.


WP Kuala Lumpur

PKR: 4

DAP: 5

BN: 2

Positive swing in support for PR in seats won by DAP, starting high at +8% among youth and declining with age.

Negative swing in support for PR in PKR and BN seats apart from voters aged 27 – 29 where support increased.


Support was highest in DAP seats at 55% and below. Support for PR in PKR seats was highest in the middle-aged group (38 – 45) at just above 50%.


Support in BN seats closely mirrored PKR with BN seats being 1-2% lower for each age group.


Downward trend observed.


WP Putrajaya

BN: 1

Positive swing from voters age 29 and below. Negative swing for voters of other ages.

Support for PR was at its highest for 27 year olds (37%) with decreasing values for other ages.


Downward trend observed.


Perlis recorded an average swing towards PR among Malay voters of all ages, yet PR recorded a net loss in terms of support from the Malay electorate (refer to the previous section). This is because of the effect of averages, where voters with high positive swing values can hide the impact of voters with low negative swing values.

Voter population by age is another factor that can affect the results as a large average swing to PR from a smaller population is over-ridden by a low average positive swing.

7. Summary

The next general election will not be decided by Malay voters alone – obviously the way constituency boundaries are structured will add weight to non-Malay voters. Postal voters will also be a factor on a per-seat basis.

In preparing this report we hope to highlight how important the Malay voter base will be in future elections and how PR and BN has performed so far.

Some points worth noting are:

7.1 The number of Malay-majority seats will increase with time

GE14 and GE15 will see an increasing number of Malay-majority seats and mixed seats. Between GE12 and GE13 138/165 Peninsular Malaysia seats had an increase in the percentage of Malay voters.

In GE12 there were 26 Chinese-majority seats in Peninsular Malaysia. In GE13 there were 22. Serdang (P102), Rasah (P130), Kluang (P152) and Taiping (P60) have become mixed seats when previously they were Chinese-majority seats.

Lumut (P74) has become a Malay-majority seat when previously it was mixed. Raub (P80) is close to becoming a Malay-majority seat with 49.8% Malay voters.

The shift is already taking place. Parties/politicians that rely on the non-Malay vote will face difficulties unless they change their strategy.

7.2 BN made significant gains among Malay electorate

For state-level support, BN also made gains with Malay voters in Kedah (+15%), Kelantan (+6%), Penang (+6%), Perak (+11%) and WP Kuala Lumpur (+17%). BN lost support in Terengganu (-13%), Johor (-12%) and Melaka (-7%). In GE13 BN gained control of the state government in Kedah and Perak so this swing was quite significant.

7.3 PAS performed well with Malay voters

Within PR, PAS contested and won seats with the most number of Malay voters. In Kelantan and Terengganu they won 14 seats and retained a high percentage of support.

Within Peninsular Malaysia PAS has the highest support from Malay youth, with 73% of Malay youth in PAS seats are leaning towards PAS (with +8% swing in GE13).

BN is close with support from 72% of Malay youth in their seats, but saw no improvement in GE13.

In Johor (53% Malay voters, 17/26 Malay-majority seats) and Melaka (58% Malay voters, 5/6 Malay-majority seats) BN still retains a majority of support in each state.

However in Terengganu (96% Malay voters) BN only has support from 53% of the electorate. PAS made gains from voters in all Terengganu seats in GE13 so there is a chance for it to win the majority of Malay support in GE14. This can translate to control of the state government.

PAS made significant gains and maintained high average support levels from Malay voters in their seats. BN still retains an advantage in their rural seats. PAS’ gains in semi-urban and urban areas could be an indicator of future success in these areas.

7.4 Young Malay voters swung to PR, but gains were marginal in rural seats

In this analysis there is a common pattern that we observed of young Malays moving towards PR and middle-aged and older Malays moving away from PR or showing less improvement. The downward trend was observed in every state, with some trends starting with the middle-aged voters instead of young voters.

PR made gains from urban Malay voters and young Malay voters in semi-urban and urban seats. However they lost support from Malay voters in rural seats.

Despite young Malay voters in rural seats swinging to PR, on a Peninsular Malaysia-level the shift was not enough to increase the share of these young voters leaning towards PR.

7.5 PR needs to take advantage of gains with young Malay voters

If PR was still united, it would be possible to win more Malay-majority urban and semi-urban seats depending on the following factors:

  • The number of young Malays joining the electorate. Significant numbers of young Malays can help offset the expected lower support from older-generation Malay voters
  • Repeating the success of GE13 in terms of % swing of support
  • Finding ways to gain support from older-generation Malay voters will reduce dependency on non-Malay voters
  • Avoiding 3-corner fights which could split the Malay vote

7.6 Future of the Opposition

PKR and DAP have not had as much success winning rural seats compared to PAS and BN. Without PAS continuing to represent PR in those seats, a new coalition will have difficulties winning GE14.

The possibility of 3-corner fights between PAS, BN and Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB) increases the likelihood of BN winning seats with <50% of the vote. This could happen even in Kelantan and Terengganu if enough PAS leaders and members leave to join the new party.

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