Malaysian Politics After Sheraton Move 2020: Inter-Coalition and Intra-Coalition Political Dynamics
研究論文 Research Paper
This paper examines both inter-coalition and intra-coalition political dynamics in Malaysia following the Sheraton Move that triggered the collapse of the 22-month Pakatan Harapan Plus (PH+) government in February 2020. With the establishment of the Perikatan Nasional Plus (PN+) government that centred on the three Malay-Muslim parties (Bersatu, UMNO and PAS), national identity contestation has been clear cut in Malaysian politics, with the ruling coalition distinguishing itself as a Malay-Muslim multiracial coalition centred on ethno-religious governing ideologies, while the PH-dominated opposition bloc is seeking to forge a West-East Malaysia multiracial coalition with a multicultural governing outlook. Apart from such inter-coalition political dynamics, both the PN+ ruling coalition and PH-dominated opposition bloc are also beset with explicit territorial competition among their partnering parties. Such intra-competition political dynamics are especially vicious for the PN+ coalition, in which UMNO-Bersatu competition has resulted in the termination of cooperation between the two parties for the next general election (GE), whereas UMNO-PAS competition has remained confined to specific geographical localities. As for the PH-dominated opposition bloc, such territorial competition among potential partnering parties is relatively stable due to the coalition’s absolute dominance in grassroots support, not just in West Malaysia but also, the East as well. As of March 31, 2020, UMNO-Bersatu territorial competition has overshadowed the PN+ coalition’s national identity contestation with the PH-dominated opposition bloc, and this will be disadvantageous to the ruling pact’s aim to become the third political alternative in Malaysia.