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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2013/2014 Research Topic: C-18
Present Opposition, Future Leadership? Emerging Figures in Malaysian Politics

Outline

Malaysian politics presently lies in a state of flux. Bereft of a powerful vision after Mahathir Mohamad’s Vision 2020, and undermined by its own failings, the regime seems unable to revitalize itself. Rising in strength and organization, the opposition is inventive but faces many structural obstacles in moving towards a ‘two-coalition system’. Civil society has shown enormous initiative in many areas of society while popular sentiment is unsettled over many issues. At the same time, various political parties and civil society organizations are showing signs of generational shift in their leadership. In such conditions when major political change may occur, one way to chart the future directions of politics is to pay close attention to today’s opposition which may emerge as tomorrow’s leadership. To this end, it is useful to develop personal, social and ideological profiles of a selected list of prominent, emerging or young oppositionists and activists in different sectors of society whose views and ideological positions may shape the future of Malaysian politics. Here, the logical candidates to be surveyed and understood are younger leaders of the opposition coalition (Pakatan Rakyat or People’s Alliance), civil society activists involved in popular campaigns for electoral, institutional and social reform, free social media, environmental protection, defense of vulnerable communities, and so on. Through a better understanding of the backgrounds, worldviews and aspirations of figures whose records and ideas are exceptionally important or representative of major socio-political trends, it would be feasible to provide a guide to the complexities of transformation in a society and political system that has to take into account many different kinds of potential and real conflicts.

Period

April 2013 - March 2014

Members of the Research Project

[ Organizer ] KHOO Boo Teik

Publications

  • Articles to be submitted to academic journals.