Malaysian general election, 1990

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Malaysian general election, 1990
1995 ←
21 October 1990 → 1995

All 180 seats in the Dewan Rakyat
Turnout 72.3%
  First party Second party Third party
  Mahathir 2007.jpg Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpg Tengku-razaleigh.jpg
Leader Mahathir Mohammed Lim Kit Siang Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
Party Barisan Nasional DAP Semangat 46
Leader since 16 July 1981 October 1969 1989
Last election 148 seats, 57.3% 24 seats, 21.0% New Party
Seats won 127 20 8
Seat change Decrease 21 Decrease 4 Increase8
Popular vote 2,985,392 985,228 826,398
Percentage 53.4% 17.13% 14.8%

Prime Minister before election

Mahathir Mohammed
Barisan Nasional

Prime Minister-designate

Mahathir Mohammed
Barisan Nasional

Coat of arms of Malaysia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

General elections were held in Malaysia on 21 October 1990.[1] Elections to the federal parliament and 11 of the 13 state assemblies (except Sabah and Sarawak) were held simultaneously. The result was a victory for the Barisan Nasional (BN) at the federal level and 10 of the 11 state elections. The opposition alliance Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah (APU) won a landslide victory over BN in the state of Kelantan, winning all 39 state assembly seats. Voter turnout was 72.3%.


The elections marked the first after United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party split and the subsequent constitutional crisis in 1988. The reconstituted UMNO Baru (New UMNO), led by incumbent Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, and the newly formed Parti Melayu Semangat 46 (S46), led by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, contested for the first time in the elections.

The Muslim opposition parties, Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), Semangat 46, Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (BERJASA) and Parti Hizbul Muslimin Malaysia (HAMIM) teamed up to form the Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah (APU). On the other hand, Semangat 46, Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), which withdrew from the Barisan Nasional (BN) at the eleventh hour of the general election, teamed up as Gagasan Rakyat. However, these two opposition alliances cooperated in the election but not openly due to the sensitivity of the secular DAP and the Islamic PAS working together.


At the federal level, the BN coalition under the leadership of incumbent Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad won 127 of the 180 parliament seats to form the federal government.

At the state level, the BN won 10 out of the 11 state elections. The APU won all 39 state seats in Kelantan to form the state government, with 24 seats going to PAS and 15 for Semangat 46.[2]

Party Votes % Seats +/-
Barisan Nasional 2,985,392 53.4 127 -21
Democratic Action Party 985,228 17.13 20 -4
Semangat 46 826,398 14.8 8 New
Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party 391,813 7.0 7 +6
Parti Bersatu Sabah 128,260 2.3 14 New
Other parties and independents 276,136 4.9 4 0
Invalid/blank votes 158,498 - - -
Total 5,751,725 100 180 +3
Source: Nohlen et al.


  1. ^ Nohlen, D, Grotz, F & Hartmann, C (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume II, p152 ISBN 0-19-924959-8
  2. ^ Francis Kok-Wah Loh, Francis Loh Kok Wah, Boo Teik Khoo, Khoo Boo Teik (2002). Democracy in Malaysia: Discourses and Practices. Routledge. p. 95. ISBN 0-7007-1161-9.