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Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 31 (4) Dec. 2023 / JSSH-8792-2022


Electoral System Reform in Malaysia: A Delayed Success?

Mohd Izzuddin Nazaruddin and Mohammad Agus Yusoff

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 31, Issue 4, December 2023


Keywords: Electoral system, Malaysia, Pakatan Harapan, reform, the Election Commission

Published on: 13 December 2023

The Election Commission (EC), Malaysia’s electoral body, is frequently chastised by the public for its lack of neutrality, manipulation of the electoral roll, gerrymandering practices in constituency delineation, and unfair media access to contesting parties. As a result of these weaknesses, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto for the 14th General Election (GE-14) promised to reform the country’s electoral system if they won the election. The PH Manifesto won 121 of the 222 contested parliamentary seats, capturing the people’s hearts. Hence, this article examined the electoral system reforms enacted by the PH administration from its election victory in May 2018 until the end of its term in February 2020. The article asserts that PH had successfully instituted four major reforms in the country’s electoral system, including placing the EC under the parliament, cleaning up the electoral roll, enhancing electoral transparency, and amending the federal constitution to allow Undi18 (Vote18) and automatic voter registration, despite its brief tenure in power. However, the electoral system reforms stalled following the collapse of the PH government due to the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government’s lack of commitment to continue this reform.

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