It was a tumultuous year for Malaysia. As the country was experiencing the onset of the first wave of COVID-19 in late February 2020, the majority coalition, the Alliance of Hope (Pakatan Harapan) that formed the federal government at the time broke apart due to defections, symbolized by the so-called Sheraton Move. A new government led by the National Alliance (Perikatan Nasional, PN) coalition came into power after the king appointed its leader, Muhyiddin Yassin, prime minister, replacing Mahathir Mohamad. The PN government immediately faced two severe challenges: the global pandemic threat and the crisis of legitimacy due to weak coalition building. This article mainly focuses on the second challenge, namely the ways the PN government has been able to avoid a parliamentary vote of no confidence and keep its coalition intact, albeit precariously.
Malaysia in 2020: Fragile Coalitional Politics and Democratic Regression
Azmil Tayeb is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. He has done extensive research on Islamic education, political Islam, and local government politics in Malaysia and Indonesia. His book Islamic Education in Indonesia and Malaysia: Shaping Minds, Saving Souls was published by Routledge in 2018. Email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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Azmil Tayeb; Malaysia in 2020: Fragile Coalitional Politics and Democratic Regression. Asian Survey 1 February 2021; 61 (1): 99–105. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/as.2021.61.1.99
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