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Malaysia to hold general elections


Malaysia to hold general elections

Photo: Reuters

Malaysia will hold their 2022 general elections today.

Citizens will  elect the 222-seat parliament from a pool of nearly 1,000 candidates . This election will be closely followed as the government lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 and instituted automatic voter registration, adding some 6 million new voters.  Additionally, early voting for security personnel began earlier this week.

Snap elections were announced in October as Prime Minister Ismail Sabri hoped to return his United Malays National Organization (UMNO) to power. UMNO had complete control until they were ousted by the multiethnic coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) in 2018. However, PH soon collapsed due to political infighting. Also vying for power is the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, making this election a difficult to predict three-way contest.

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Today’s elections are filled with uncertainty. While polls show PH leader Anwar Ibrahim ahead in the race for PM, he likely lacks the support necessary to clinch a parliamentary majority. In that case, the incumbent UMNO may form a coalition to remain in power. Regardless of who wins, the new government will seek to improve the economy by raising interest rates and fighting corruption. However, this may be difficult due to continued political infighting.

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