Opposition (Malaysia)

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Leader of the Opposition of Malaysia
Ketua Pembangkang Malaysia
Style Yang Berhormat (The Honourable)
As a member of the Dewan Rakyat
Member of Parliament
Term length While leader of the largest coalition not in government
Inaugural holder Tan Chee Khoon
Formation 21 March 1964; 51 years ago (1964-03-21)
Salary MYR 10,358.18 monthly (6508.59 MP's salary + 3849.59 allowance)
Coat of arms of Malaysia.svg
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The Opposition in Malaysia is the group of political parties represented in the Parliament of Malaysia that are not in government either on their own or as part of a governing coalition. Note that this article uses the term government as it is used in parliamentary systems, i.e. meaning the administration, majority party or coalition in parliament or the cabinet, rather than the state.

The title Official Opposition, used in most of the other member nations of the Commonwealth of Nations to designate the political party not in government with the largest number of parliamentary seats, is rarely used in Malaysia. It is common practice to refer to such a party simply as the Opposition, or by the party name.

Theoretically, according to the system of Westminster Democracy upon which the Malaysian political system is loosely based, the Opposition is seen as the alternative government and prepared to assume office should the incumbent government be defeated at a general election. Due to the domination of the Barisan Nasional (and its predecessor, the Alliance) coalition of the parliament since independence, this perception is generally not acknowledged and recognized by Malaysians, though since the 2008 elections, Anwar Ibrahim has declared that the Opposition is the "government in waiting".

In the recent general election (13th Malaysian General Election), the still unregistered Pakatan Rakyat received the highest total number of votes but due to Malaysia's First Past The Post voting system—used in Canada, UK, and most states in the United States—lost to the Barisan Nasional, which won 133 of the 222 Parliament seats and 275 of the 505 State seats.[2] To this day, PKR, DAP, and PAS continue to platform different ideologies within the framework of respect and consensus by their top leaders. Even though Pakatan Rakyat has yet to win the election, most of the industrial, developing cities and ports such as Ipoh, Klang, Kuala Lumpur (capital city), Petaling Jaya, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu are under the administration of the opposition, meaning the coalition controls the states' economy.[3]

Leader of the Opposition[edit]

As in nearly every parliamentary democracy around the world, the Leader of the Opposition comes from the largest minority political party or coalition of parties with seats not yet in government. The Leader of the Opposition is often seen as a Prime Minister-in-waiting.[citation needed]

List of Leaders of the Opposition[edit]

Following the resignation of Wan Azizah Wan Ismail of the People's Justice Party (PKR) on 31 July 2008, and Anwar Ibrahim's victory in Permatang Pauh on 26 August 2008, Anwar was declared the Leader of the Opposition. Together with Democratic Action Party (DAP), the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), they form Pakatan Rakyat.

The position of the Leader of the Opposition has generally been filled by members of PAS or the DAP, but on two occasions has included the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) in a joint leadership with the DAP and, more recently, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

The list of Leaders of the Opposition include:[4]

Portrait Took office Left office Party Coalition Seats Popularity
01 Burhanuddin al-Helmy
MP for Besut
BurhanuddinHilmi.png 19 August 1959 1 March 1964 PAS 13/104 21.3%
02 1 Tan Chee Khoon
MP for Batu
Tan Chee Khoon.jpg 21 March 1964 20 March 1969 LPM SF 15/159 40.8%
03 Vacant (20 March 1969 — 1971)
2 Mohamed Asri Muda
MP for Pasir Puteh
23 February 1971 17 April 1973 PAS 12/144 20.9%
3 Lim Kit Siang
MP for Kota Melaka
(b. 1941)
Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpg 17 April 1973 31 July 1974 DAP 13/144 12.1%
04 4 James Wong
MP for Miri-Lubis
24 August 1974 30 October 1974 SNAP 9/154 5.6%
5 Edmund Langgu Saga
MP for Saratok
(b. 1936)
30 October 1974 5 November 1975 SNAP
(3) Lim Kit Siang
MP for
Kota Melaka (1975-1978; 1982-1986)
Petaling Jaya (1978-1982)
Tanjong (1986-1999)
(b. 1941)
Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpg 5 November 1975 8 July 1978 DAP 9/154 18.3%
05 12 June 1978 29 March 1982 16/154 19.1%
06 22 April 1982 19 July 1986 9/154 19.6%
07 3 August 1986 4 October 1990 24/177 21.0%
08 21 October 1990 6 April 1995 20/180 17.13%
09 25 April 1995 10 November 1999 9/192 12.0%
10 6 Fadzil Noor
MP for Pendang
29 November 1999 23 July 2002 PAS BA 42/192 40.23%
7 Abdul Hadi Awang
MP for Marang
(b. 1947)
Tuan Guru Dato' Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang.jpg 23 July 2002 2 March 2004 PAS BA
11 (3) Lim Kit Siang
MP for Ipoh Timur
(b. 1941)
Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpg 21 March 2004 13 February 2008 DAP 12/219 9.9%
12 8 Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
MP for Permatang Pauh
(b. 1952)
Wan Azizah 2.jpg 8 March 2008 28 August 2008 PKR PR 82/222 46.75%
9 Anwar Ibrahim
MP for Permatang Pauh
(b. 1947)
Anwar Ibrahim.jpg 28 August 2008 3 April 2013 PKR PR
13 6 May 2013 16 March 2015[5] 89/222 50.87%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Anwar disqualified as MP since Mar 16, says speaker". The Malaysian Times. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  2. ^ http://keputusan.spr.gov.my/#home
  3. ^ "In GE13, BN wins Malay heartland, Pakatan the cities". 
  4. ^ "PKR president poised to make history as first woman Opposition Leader". The Star. 20 March 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2008. 
  5. ^ "Anwar disqualified as MP since Mar 16, says speaker". The Malaysian Times. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.