Past Events

Bersatu: Reshaping of Malay politics?

Penang Institute is proud to host a public lecture “Bersatu : Reshaping of Malay Politics” which is scheduled as follows:

        Date        : 18 November 2017 (Saturday)
        Time       : 8:00pm – 10:30pm (Door Opens at 7:30pm)
        Venue     : Conference Hall 1, Penang Institute, No. 10 & 12, Jalan Brown, George Town, Penang
Departing from the three-party format since 2008, the number of national Malay-based political parties has grown from three to five with the formation of Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) in 2015 and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) in 2016. Is this fragmentation of Malay politics a permanent feature, or a temporary episode that would soon disappear after the 14th General Election?
Of particular interest are the roles and potentials of Bersatu, led by former Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Muhamad, who is now leading the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH). Neither multi-ethnic like PKR and Amanah nor Islamist like PAS, Bersatu is the closest alternative to UMNO as a Malay nationalist party. Historically, Tengku Razaleigh’s Parti Semangat 46 (S46) took that path too, but its electoral misfortune led to its disbanding six years later.
Will Bersatu succeed in wresting away enough of UMNO’s supporters to end the Grand Old Party’s six decades of hegemony? If so, will it also be at the expense of any other opposition party? If PH takes Putrajaya, will Bersatu emerge to be its new centre, or as some fear, the new UMNO in the new reformed version of BN that rolls back the reform agenda? Or, will Bersatu still lose to the powerful 3Ms – Money, Media and Machinery – of UMNO/BN which Dr Mahathir once rode on to survive his opponents’ challenges? Or, will Bersatu both thrive and emerge as the competent leading party of an inclusive and progressive Malaysia?
Prof Meredith Weiss has studied Malaysian politics closely since the Reformasi years. Penang Institute invites you to a conversation on the potentials and constraints faced by Bersatu, between Prof Weiss and Dr Wong Chin Huat of Penang Institute.

Kindly register your interest here. Please feel free to circulate this invitation to your family and friends.