Bridget Welsh is a Visiting 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.
Monthly archive April, 2013

Shadows of the past stalk GE13 campaign

Taken from Malaysiakini.com Less than one week before Malaysians cast their vote in what is arguably the most competitive election in history, the campaign has taken a worrying turn. In what has been part of a no-holds-barred strategy, the use of fear and division has come to the fore, especially on the part of the...

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BN’s femme fatale – the power of women

Taken from Malaysiakini.com Apart from civil servants, another decisive group in GE13 are women. They comprise 51.7 percent of the electorate and regularly turn out in high numbers, especially in semi and rural areas. In close races, how women vote can make the difference. Numerically, women are largely in the urban areas, but disproportionately they are...

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People or party? Wooing civil servants

Taken from Malaysiakini.com In caretaker Premier Najib Abdul Razak’s political targeting, one group has received special attention – civil servants. Why would those in the heart of government garner such special focus for an election? The reality is that in Malaysia’s close electoral races, civil servants can be decisive in shaping the final tallies. This...

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Buying support – Najib’s ‘commercialisation’ of GE13

Taken from Malaysiakini.com The billion ringgit question of this campaign is how much is being spent in the 2013 general election campaign and who is paying for it? Throughout the country, voters are already reporting early efforts to woo the electorate such as special grocery vouchers of RM300 in Sandakan and handouts of RM50 to attend a...

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GE13 post-nomination revelations

Taken from Malaysiakini.com As 1,900 candidates poured into nomination centres around the country yesterday to file their papers, the excitement for the May 5 general election has intensified. For the first time in history, every seat is being contested. One seat, Kalabakan in Sabah, even has a seven-cornered fight. The mass entry of candidates into...

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Crossing the lines – BN’s early strategic mistakes

Taken from Malaysiakini.com In assessing any electoral campaign, it is essential to review the assumptions and implications of different strategic moves. Three decisions on the part of BN in the last two weeks are leading to tectonic shifts within the electorate, and thus strengthen the opposition’s position nationally. These are: 1. The use of sex...

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Najib’s dilemma over selection of candidates

Taken from Malaysiakini.com As the political parties wrangle over the final slate of candidates, the issue of who will contest and where has become more important than ever. The reason is simple: the candidate factor matters in close races. Each side is hoping that their list will bring that extra something to the campaign, to...

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Chance for change? The possibility is there

Taken from Malaysiakini.com Well, the dates have finally been set and Malaysia heads towards the most competitive electoral contest in the nation’s history. It is important to step back and look at how and why GE13 is competitive. The broad reason is clear: this election offers the possibility of an electoral transition of power. More...

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