Malaysia: Post GE14
The present Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, in actual fact, did not expect to win the 14th Malaysian General Election (GE14) and overthrow the Barisan Nasional (BN) government under Najib Razak. BN has been ruling the country for over 60 years and had in place all the laws, infrastructure, institutions, etc. which were favourable to them. Most of all, BN had the financial capacity to ensure that it would continue to rule the country. However, two main factors emerged that spoilt the opportunity of BN, i.e. Najib’s 1MDB and the return of Mahathir. When PH took over the administration of the country, the new cabinet under Mahathir had only around four experienced Ministers and Deputy Ministers out of 55. These new appointees had no experience running their ministries, planning and executing government policies, dealing with the press, etc.. The mistakes they made became fodder for the opposition BN to criticize them. This panel will discuss the “report card” of the PH government in September 2019 after coming into power for more than a year, challenges the various ministries had to face and whether the PH government is able to sustain its position in the next general election, i.e. GE15. This panel will have four presenters on the following issues: 1) Factors leading to the electoral tsunami, 2) Reform challenges for the new government, 3) Post-Mahathir Malaysia, and 4) Implications on Malaysia’s foreign policy.