Bridget Welsh is Associate Professor at John Cabot University, a Senior Research Associate at NTU, a Senior Associate Fellow THC and a University Fellow of CDU. She analyzes Southeast Asian politics, especially Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Indonesia. She is committed to engagement, fostering mutual understanding and empowerment.
Yearly archive 2011

Soul Searching Singapore’s 2011 General Election

From East-West Center The effects of Singapore’s May 7th election are still being felt in this global city state. When the results came in, the incumbent People’s Action Party (PAP) had marked its worst performance since independence, losing 39.9% of the popular vote and a record six seats out of 87 in one of the...

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Five Promising Ideas from PAS’ New Line-Up

The victory of the progressives in Malaysia’s Islamic party has indeed served to inject greater dynamism into Pakatan Rakyat and strengthen PAS’ engagement in national politics. The party nevertheless faces deep-seated suspicion by many non-Muslims and more secular Malays who see the election of the non-ulama team as a move to gain power than to...

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Victory of the ‘Erdogans’ Bodes Well for Pakatan

There was a sense of excitement in the air in Gombak this morning as the results of the PAS party polls were announced. It is a truly historic day for PAS and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition. Stalwart Mohamed Sabu (right) defeated his two contenders for the deputy position (by 21 votes), three non-ulama leaders...

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Party Polls Will Decide PAS’ Future, Pakatan’s Fate

Islamic party PAS is at a critical juncture in its history. The decisions at the party polls of the 57th Muktamar will – at least in the short term – resolve some of the conflicts that have been brewing within the party over its political direction and engagement. The party delegates have a clear choice...

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The Myths of S’wak Polls Results

The dust has begun to settle on the 10th Sarawak polls with the BN touting its retention of the two-thirds majority as a victory, while Pakatan Rakyat points to the more than doubling of its seats. This was the most competitive state election in Sarawak’s history and was hard fought by both sides. BN, led...

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Final Countdown in BN ‘Fixed Deposit’ State

The last day of the campaign has started and for the past few days, it has been ratcheted up to fever pitch on both sides. Larger crowds in the towns for the opposition have coincided with extensive, almost frenzied, visits by BN cabinet ministers far and wide throughout the state.’ Make no mistake about this...

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S’wak Polls Fought and Won in Rural Areas

To understand politics in Sarawak, it is important to appreciate the centrality of local dynamics. Traditionally voters turn out in larger numbers for state elections than for the general election. Despite the transformation of this contest into a national litmus test, local politics will continue to shape the results. While this contest is increasingly becoming...

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A Sarawak Spring?

When change rocked the Middle East from Tunisia to Yemen, many were quick to point out that it could not happen in Malaysia. The BN government has a stronger record of governance and, for all of the unevenness of the playing field, holds competitive elections. Yet, as the Sarawak campaign has unfolded, it is increasingly...

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Sweet and Sour Aftermath of S’wak Polls

The Sarawak polls are over and the attention is now on assessing its implications at both the state and national levels. Much attention has focused on predictions for the next general elections, with the range of possible dates moving from a few months to further postponement until 2013. My own view remains that there needs...

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