Malaysia: the tale of its hung parliament

By Marissa Nazeera

GOMBAK, 22 November 2022: After having three different coalitions leading the country in a span of five years, the 15th General Election (GE15) concluded last Saturday (20th November 2022) to allow citizens to decide which party to lead the government through their voting power.

However, Malaysia has yet to form its government despite three days after the GE15 that saw Pakatan Harapan (PH) securing 82 seats followed by Perikatan Nasional (PN) with 73 seats, and Barisan Nasional (BN) with only 30 seats.

With the hope there would be an answer to the battle between BN, PH, and PN, the GE15, has, however, provided no end but led Malaysia to its first-ever hung parliament in its political history.

As Malaysia follows the Westminster parliamentary system, supposedly the party with the highest number of seats will present their confidence in leading the country before the Yang di-Pertua Agong. The party can form a government if it is able to win a simple majority of 112 seats out of the 222 seats contested.

If not, only then the next party with the highest number of seats will make a move. This is the situation when the general election results in no party having a majority of members.

Notwithstanding the Westminster convention, Istana Negara allowed the coalition with enough support to inform the Palace to form a government.

On Sunday, Istana Negara asked political leaders to submit the agreed combination of political parties and the candidate for the prime minister by Monday, 21 November 2022, 2.00 p.m. However, upon negotiation made between some political parties and Istana Negara, it was postponed to today (22 November 2022) by 2.00 p.m.

In order to get at least 112 seats, the leading parties, specifically PH and PN, are racing to ensure the remaining parties join forces with them.

Until Dato’ Sri Anwar Ibrahim, the chairman of PH, presented his numbers before Yang di-Pertuan Agong by 2.00 p.m. today, Malaysia will still have a hung parliament.

This could be the chance for him to prove his words that, “I have a strong, formidable, convincing majority. Not a small majority.”

Or alternatively, Malaysia might be led by PN if Tan Sri Dato’ Mahiaddin Yassin, its chairman, is able to get more numbers than PH.

Now, it is a race against time in convincing the other party (or parties) to compromise. Then only the ‘winning party’ can present the ‘numbers’ before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to form a government.

The possible scenario would be as illustrated below.

The citizens of Malaysia are now exhausted and sleep-deprived due to the never-ending soon-to-be three-day battle. Not only that, economists have also warned the impact of the hung parliament on the market currency and Malaysia’s stock market.

Though the backlash from citizens is heated especially on social media, everyone is still very much excited to see the winner of the ‘national match’.***

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