Past Events

Towards a New Malaysia? The 2018 Election and Its Aftermath

Malaysia’s remarkable general election in May 2018 brought to an end six decades of rule by the powerful Barisan Nasional coalition. The result confounded all expectations. The publication of Towards a New Malaysia?, edited by Meredith Weiss and Faisal S. Hazis, tells the detailed story of that historic election for the first time. It examines the key issues, campaign strategies and mobilisation efforts that played out during the election period.

Despite the evident euphoria that greeted the election result and the formation of the new Pakatan Harapan government, the contributors to the book are cautious in declaring this pivotal moment as a harbinger of deep-seated liberalisation in Malaysia. The political struggles they portray are far from over.

Date: 10 March 2020, Tuesday
Time: 8.00pm–10.00pm (Doors open at 7.30pm)
Venue: Conference Hall, Penang Institute, 10-12 Brown Road, 10350 George Town


Meredith Weiss
Meredith Weiss is Professor and Chair of Political Science in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Her research focuses on social mobilisation and civil society, collective identity, elections and subnational governance in Southeast Asia. Her books include Protest and Possibilities: Civil Society and Coalitions for Political Change in Malaysia, Student Activism in Malaysia: Crucible, Mirror, Sideshow, the forthcoming The Roots of Resilience: Party Machines and Grassroots Politics in Southeast Asia, and eleven edited or co-edited volumes – most recently, The Political Logics of Anticorruption Efforts in Asia.

Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid
Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid is Professor of Political Science, School of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia, and a member of the Political Futures Experts Group, International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation, International Islamic University Malaysia. Trained as a political scientist at Oxford, Leeds and Newcastle universities in Britain, his research interests lie within the field of political Islam in Southeast Asia. He has published nearly a hundred academic contributions in the form of scholarly journal articles, book chapters and monographs.

Francis Loh Kok Wah
Francis Loh Kok Wah, a pensioner, was Professor of Politics at Universiti Sains Malaysia. Presently he is a senior adviser to the Forum of Federations, Myanmar Office. His books include New vs Old Politics: Malaysian State and Society in Transition, Regime Change in Malaysia (co-editor) and The Xaverian Journey: The Story of a Lasallian School in Penang, Malaysia, 1787 to 2019 (co-author). Francis was secretary of Aliran for twenty years and president for five years (2011–2016). He previously taught at Monash University, Australia.


Gareth Richards, Gerakbudaya Bookshop (previously Dato’ Dr Ooi Kee Beng)

Co-organised with Gerakbudaya Bookshop and Hikayat