|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Reformasi (Reform or Reformation) movement in Malaysia was initiated by Anwar Ibrahim and his supporters shortly after he was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister by the country's then Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad in 1998. The legacy of the reformasi movement, however, was felt during Malaysia's 2008 general election, in which the People's Justice Party (PKR) led by Anwar Ibrahim won 31 parliamentary seats. As a result of the electoral success of the PKR, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, and Democratic Action Party coalition, the ruling Barisan Nasional government lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament.
- 1 What is Reformasi?
- 2 International Response
- 3 Domestic Response
- 4 Immediate Causes of Reformasi
- 5 Underlying Cause of Reformasi
- 6 Impact of Reformasi
- 7 Impact and Legacy of Reformasi on Malaysia's Political Development
- 8 Notes
- 9 See also
- 10 References
What is Reformasi?
Reformasi was triggered by several mass protests against Barisan Nasional government and continued even after Anwar's arrest in late 1998. The movement borrowed their idiom from the campaign in Indonesia against Suharto, which at that time protested against the establishment of Suharto in pursuit of "Reformasi." Before his arrest on 20 September, Anwar travelled across the county, giving public lectures to huge crowds on justice, the prevalence of cronyism and corruption, the urgency for social safety nets and so on. These groups controlled an expansive grassroots network and were able to garner tens of thousands of mostly Malay youths to support Anwar's cause and his calls for Reformasi.
Opposition parties such as the Democratic Action Party, DAP and Pan Malayan Islamic Party, PAS also extended their support. After leading a huge rally in Kuala Lumpur on 20 September 1998, in the midst of the Commonwealth Games and Queen Elizabeth's visit to Kuala Lumpur, Anwar was finally arrested and detained under the Internal Security Act (Malaysia). A number of his followers were also held under the ISA, and hundreds of demonstrators were eventually charged with illegal assembly and related offences.
Demonstrations intensified by the surrounding actions against Anwar - his arrest at gunpoint, assault by the chief of police, widely publicized sexual allegations against him. and his highly controversial court cases. Thousands took to the streets in protest when Anwar was sentenced to six years jail for corruption (abuse of power) in April 1999. Police repression was again harsh and 118 people were arrested. Police dispersed protesters with the tear gas, chemical water and bludgeons, and publicised photographs and lists in the mainstream press of people wanted for interrogation. Apart from direct confrontation in the streets, the government and the opposition maintained an acrimonious campaign against each other, in the mainstream and the alternative media respectively. The latter included the bilingual (English and Malay) PAS newspaper, Harakah, published twice a week, smaller weekly and monthly publications such as Eksklusif, Detik and Tamadun, and several sites on the Internet.
Anwar's arrest prompted commentators as diverse as Amnesty International, Indonesian President B.J. Habibie, George Soros and former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore who showed signs of disapproval at Malaysia's political and economic failures. At the 1998 APEC Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Al Gore, gave a speech supporting Anwar and the Reformasi movement in front of the Prime Minister of Malaysia and other Asia-Pacific premiers.
"Democracy confers a stamp of legitimacy that reforms must have in order to be effective." He went on: "And so, among nations suffering economic crises, we continue to hear calls for democracy, calls for reform, in many languages - People Power, Doi Moi, Reformasi. We hear them today - right here, right now - among the brave people of Malaysia."
In September 1998, Mahathir experienced his first international snub when the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) withdrew its invitation to the Prime Minister to be a keynote speaker at one of its meetings. Mahathir's invitation by a group of pro-government students based at Cambridge University to a workshop in October also sparked a controversy when a rival group calling itself the Cambridge Coalition for a Free Malaysia reacted to the invitation by calling for a boycott of the planned event. The event was not cancelled, but Mahathir was met by protestors, mainly Malaysian students and members of the Cambridge University Amnesty International group.
Reformasi attracted a wide range of previously disparate groups. About 25 Malay nongovernmental organizations like the Islamic Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) and the Malaysian Islamic Reform Society joined PAS in forming GERAK (Malaysian People's Movement for Justice).
Predominantly non-Malay nongovernmental organisations like SUARAM (Malaysian People's Voice) joined the DAP and the small but venerable Malaysian People's Party in forming GAGASAN (Coalition for People's Democracy). Further, as anticipation mounted that elections would be called, some forty non-governmental organizations involved with GERAK and GAGASAN organised Pemantau (Malaysian Citizens' Election Watch).
As a political commentator, former Deputy Prime Minister Musa Hitam remarked that "If the reformasi movement and demonstrations could be given any significance in terms of Malaysian politics..it is more issue-based than racial. I'm fascinated." Musa commented that prior to reformasi, "any demonstration of any nature in Kuala Lumpur or Penang would always turn racial. Even if they were against the government, they would burn the Chinese shops."
Timeline of the Key Events following Reformasi
|1998||2 September||Mahathir sacked his heir apparent Anwar Ibrahim from the Cabinet|
|3 September||Anwar was expelled from UMNO and Dr. Munawar Anees, Anwar's former speechwriter, and Sukma Darmawan Sasmita Atmadja, Anwar's adoptive brother, were arrested under suspicion of engaging in homosexual acts|
|8 September||Anwar's Declaration of Reformasi|
|20 September||Anwar's Arrest|
|27-30 September||Activists closely linked to Anwar like Tian Chua, N.Gobalakrishnan, Mohd Ezam Mohd Nor, Mohamed Azmin Ali, Fairus Izuddin and Dr Badrul Amin Baharun were arrested|
|29 September||Anwar appeared in court and pleaded innocent to charges of corruption and sodomy. A photo of Anwar with a black eye (incurred from a beating by then Inspector General of Police Rahim Noor) and one hand raised became a symbol of the political opposition in many reformasi posters|
|1999||4 April||Founding of the National Justice Party led by Anwar's wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail|
|14 April||Anwar sentenced to six years in prison for corruption|
|2000||8 August||Anwar was sentenced to nine years in prison for sodomy and the sentences were to be served consecutively|
|2004||September||Federal Court overturned Anwar's sodomy conviction and Anwar was immediately released|
Immediate Causes of Reformasi
Clash of Leadership Styles
Reformasi occurred due to the differing leadership styles between Mahathir and Anwar. Anwar claimed that he had significantly changed the government from within and stressed that his role in developing low-cost housing and other people-friendly policies while in government, caused him to become a focus for popular frustrations with the ruling party. Before entering UMNO, Anwar had been a student activist, then headed Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM) in the 1970s, making strident calls for Islamicisation and Malay-language education. Detained for two years under the ISA, Anwar was brought into Mahathir's government six years later, in 1982. Expelled from Mahathir's camp, Anwar was warmly reclaimed by ABIM and other Islamic NGOs.
Months before Anwar’s arrest, Mahathir had been granting more responsibility for economic policy-making to Daim Zainuddin, a financial strongman, thus limiting Anwar's power. Mahathir accused Anwar for being a "puppet" of foreign powers and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), out to re-colonize Malaysia and the arrest was partly due to Anwar’s economic mismanagement. Mahathir claimed that Anwar and his supporters were guilty of corruption and cronyism and that he had led the country to the brink of economic disaster by following the wishes of the IMF. Anwar was a "liar and an agitator, detained for this in 1974, and now returning to his old ways. Above all else, disregarding court warnings on the issue."
Despite Mahathir’s clear enmity against the IMF, Anwar stated that the government “have an excellent rapport with the IMF officials and that they did say that Malaysia did not an IMF rescue”. Also despite Mahathir’s use of state’s funds to bail out several prominent conglomerates, Anwar defended his opposition to government's bailouts and lack of transparency.
Economic Mismanagement of Asian Financial Crisis of 1997
During the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997, UMNO party leaders accused Mahathir of mismanaging the economic crisis. A concert of attacks followed, including a claim made by a Time magazine article that Mahathir has funnelled a $250 million loan to his son through political party connections. Overt attempts by some in the ruling elite to protect ailing beneficiaries and “clients” from the full thrust of market forces in the wake of the financial crisis like the above largely contributed to the friction between Mahathir and Anwar, with the latter commonly believed to have been less willing to yield to the government's financial bail-outs of these cronies.
As more of the business conglomerates created by symbiotic relationships between government and business elites started to face financial ruin, political ramifications inevitably spread to the highest levels of the ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO)/Barisan Nasional coalition. When Anwar continued to resist some of these attempts at rescuing politically-linked businesses, he was politically neutralized by first being arrested and then charged with corruption and sexual misconduct.
Underlying Cause of Reformasi
The main reasons for Reformasi do not just revolved around the episodes of the sacking and arrest of Anwar Ibrahim in 1998. For many years, UMNO have had several contentions within its party ranks and Reformasi is often viewed as a manifestation of UMNO factionalism.
UMNO Factionalism since the 1970s
Is Reformasi a typical rather than an exceptional political event in Malaysia? Reformasi took place from the overt split within the UMNO leadership in 1998. Malaysians have witnessed such splits prior to 1998. For many people the events that preceded 1998 might be just another reminder of what happened about two decades ago: a struggle for power between elements of the governing elite over who will get to lead the nation and shape it.
The first crisis, which rose in 1975 during Tun Abdul Razak's term as Prime Minister, the communist card was used by some to persecute and intimidate rivals in the party. This early period pitted a group of "young Turks" including Mahathir in wanting to cause rapid social change against an "old guard" of disparate forces of feudal nationalists and individuals whose fortunes were tied to the institutional vestiges of the "old system". However, UMNO survived this crisis because the winning faction created a new role for itself as the guardians of Malay development through new social and economic affirmative action policies in the form of New Economic Policy (NEP).
In 1987, UMNO split in half after Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah challenged Dr Mahathir for the leadership of UMNO, and failed by only 43 votes from the 1479 delegates. The result forced Tengku Razaleigh to leave UMNO and set up his own Semangat '46 party, which formed an electoral collaboration with PAS and the largely Chinese DAP to compete in the 1990 elections. After this attempt failed, Semangat members rejoined UMNO in 1996, including Tengku Razeleigh. Many expect the current opposition to meet a similar fate.
Impact of Reformasi
Before Mahathir’s resignation
Reformasi led to the formation of a new multiracial-based party named Parti Keadilan Nasional (National Justice Party). In 1999, a general election was held. The new Parti Keadilan Nasional, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, and Democratic Action Party formed a Barisan Alternatif (Alternative Front), in a combined initiative to replace the standing Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government. For the first time in Malaysia's history, UMNO, a Malay-based party and the dominant party in the BN coalition, received less than half of the total vote of ethnic Malays.
Federal elections of 1999
On 2 July 1999, before the elections, four opposition parties, PAS, DAP, Keadilan and the socialist, mainly Malay, Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) declared a common programme of action emphasising on the ten principles drawn from the Malaysian constitution. These stressed constitutional principles based on democracy and the special position of Malays, the latter to reassure Malays that co-operation with the DAP would not involve prioritising DAP’s interests. References to establish an Islamic state were not made because PAS agreed to drop this in the interests of opposition unity.
The coordination among the opposition parties have made the 1999 elections one of the most contested ever. For the first time, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) faced a coalition of the major opposition parties, campaigning on a common ‘reform’ platform. Even though BN won with 148 out of 193 seats, the elections still proved a major defeat for UMNO which lost 22 seats. Its parliamentary seats declined from 94 to 72. For the first time ever, UMNO seats were less than the total of its coalition partners. 4 of its ministers and 5 deputy ministers were defeated. One of the major reasons was the Malays’ reaction against the government's handling of the Anwar issue. They shifted their support to the opposition.
Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) and Keadilan (led by Anwar's wife) were the main beneficiaries. PAS, advantaging from its affiliation to reformasi, emerged as the new parliamentary opposition leader, and headed state governments in Kelantan and Terengganu.
During the leadership of Abdullah Badawi
By the time Abdullah Badawi took over in October 2003, the excitement generated by the formation of the Barisan Alternatif and its performance in the November 1999 election had started to fade. Since the DAP left the coalition in September 2001, Keadilan itself has been experiencing an acrimonious internal power struggle and looks in danger of going down the Semangat '46 (Spirit of '46) path. The root of the BA's dilemma was evidently that its component parties could not reconcile their different agendas. On matters concerning the Ketuanan Melayu and ethnic quotas, the DAP could not see eye to eye with PAS, Keadilan, and the PRM. With regard to PAS and its overriding focus on the creation of an Islamic state, it has opened a chasm that the two parties, the DAP and PAS, could not reconcile.
Federal Elections of 2004
The opposition fall-out changed the fortunes for BN in the 2004 election. For instance, Parti Keadilan Nasional lost all of its seats in Parliament but one, which was held by its President, Wan Azizah, wife of Anwar Ibrahim. The BN coalition captured 198 out of 219 seats in Parliament on the way to its most convincing electoral performance since 1974. The Barisan Nasional performance in Northern Malaysia was particularly impressive. The Barisan Nasional's sweeping victory was also attributed to high expectations of the new Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, who succeeded Mahathir in 2003.
Also, during the 2004 elections, the role of civil society slid quietly to the peripheries of Malaysian politics, marginalized once again by the state as well as by other political interests that intended to focus the epic struggle between UMNO and PAS as the centerpiece of the elections. Indeed, civil society movements, so proactive and politicised just ﬁve years ago with the growth of the Reformasi movement, were conspicuously absent in 2004 due to the lack of functioning space and state domination over society.
Release of Anwar in 2004
However, Anwar Ibrahim was released from prison in September 2004 and Parti Keadilan Nasional re-emerged as Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or People's Justice Party. Even though Anwar was barred from participating in politics, he managed to become PKR’s de facto leader. William Case says that both the “Anwar factor” and the PKR’s multi-racial platform injected excitement in Malaysia’s political life. In May 2007, Anwar stated that his purpose was to actively reinstate the multi-racial political coalition of PKR, DAP and PAS. His influence caused PAS to open its membership to non-Muslims in 2006 and Anwar’s call to end the thirty-six-year-old New Economic Policy caught the attention and support of the non-Malays.
Federal elections of 2008
The excitement that Anwar caused in Malaysian politics reinvigorated the spirit of the Reformasi movement. It returned during Malaysia's 2008 general election, and contributed to the People's Justice Party's (PKR) win of 31 parliamentary seats. As a result of the electoral success of the PKR, PAS and DAP coalition, the Barisan Nasional government lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament.
PKR made huge gains in the 2008 general election and became the largest opposition party in parliament. In addition, five of the eleven state governments in peninsular Malaysia fell to the PKR, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, and Democratic Action Party coalition. The Barisan Nasional government, for the first time since 1969, lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament.
|1999||P044 Permatang Pauh, Penang||Wan Azizah (PKR)||23,820||61.77%||Ibrahim Bin Saad (UMNO)||14,743||38.23%||39,210||9,077||78.95%|
|2004||Wan Azizah (PKR)||21,737||50.47%||Firdaus bin Ismail (UMNO)||21,147||49.1%||43,734||590||80.93%|
|2008||Wan Azizah (PKR)||30,338||64.1%||16,950||35.81%||47,442||13,388||81.17%|
According to O'Shannassy, the elections of 2008 represent a significant change as the opposition gains could be seen as a robust public endorsement of their multiracial aspirations.
Impact and Legacy of Reformasi on Malaysia's Political Development
To Funston, it was no doubt an event that has impacted the Malays greatly. The majority Malay community was strongly divided by these events, particularly in the Klang valley and the northern states. The pro-Anwar group garnered huge support from Malay youths and Muslim groups. Tensions were most visible in urban areas, but in the villages individuals also began boycotting the shops and even mosques of opposing groups. This had happened before, particularly in the 1960s but what was revolutionary about it was that it was never on such a massive scale. Many government employees, particularly teachers and military personnel, supported the opposition. Government leaders warned these officers not to challenge the government, and threatened disciplinary action against them. Non-Malays were not as involved as the Malays, but participated through non-governmental organisations (NGOs), or the DAP. Their grass-roots organisations issued several substantial memoranda, including the widely publicized "Suqiu” or the "Seventeen Points".
Meredith Weiss responds in the same light by noting that even though there are both Islamic-oriented NGOs (IONGOs) and secular issue-oriented NGOs, including human rights, women's rights and other advocacy organizations, who are active in the Reformasi movement, these collaborations between these sectors tend to remain at a rather superficial level. The underlying motivation for the IONGOs is religion and their emphasis is on moral accountability and often pro-Malay policies.
The other advocacy groups hinges on specific, non-ethnic issues, phrased usually in universal terms. In addition, the membership of IONGOs is almost exclusively Malay Muslim, with some degree of gender segregation, and most communications are in the Malay language. The advocacy groups are mostly Chinese and Indian in leadership and membership, are more gender-neutral and operate mostly in English. All support Keadilan (justice), but with varying rationales, so that when members of the different kinds of NGOs co-operate, it is often in their alternate roles as party or electoral coalition workers.
On the other hand, according to Weiss, the long-term impact of Reformasi could be significant. Current manifestations indicate a change in Malay political culture away from blind loyalty and clientelism and towards more critical engagement with political processes, the development of an opposition coalition with a chance of upsetting BN dominance and hence ushering in a more liberal form of parliamentary democracy, and a shift towards a multiracial collaboration in which communally-defined issues are less significant. Meeting these goals demands that the majority of voters accept new, issue rather than race-oriented norms of political interaction, a process which could take quite a long time.
- Case, W. (2004). New Uncertainties for an Old Pseudo-Democracy: The Case of Malaysia, Comparative Politics, 37 (1), p 89. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4150125 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Weiss, L. M. (1999). What Will Become of Reformasi? Ethnicity and Changing Political Norms in Malaysia. Contemporary Southeast Asia, 21(3) pp 426-427. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798468 . Accessed: 24/10/2014
- Anwar’s character assassination worsened when a swirl of poison-pen letters hit the scene targeting him. Also, at the UMNO’s 18–21 June Annual General Assembly, the book, 50 Dalil Mengapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Jadi PM (50 Reasons Why Anwar Cannot Be Prime Minister) mysteriously found its way into the delegate bags of attendees. Though Anwar insisted that the claims in the book were defamatory, some of them resurfaced among the legal charges levelled against him. There was speculation that Anwar had been orchestrating a coup at the June 1998's party General Assembly rather than wait for Mahathir to follow through on his promise to hand over power soon. There, Mahathir outwitted Anwar by, for instance, undercutting Anwar's charges of cronyism by revealing that many came from Anwar himself. However, those were quickly subdued after Mahathir made his official endorsement of Anwar as his successor in the presence of the members of the Supreme Council during the Assembly.
- Weiss, p 27. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798468. Accessed: 24/10/2014
- Billington, G. G (1998). Malaysia's Mahathir trumps 'anti-corruption' crowd. EIR, 25.
- Funston, J.(2000). Malaysia's Tenth Elections: Status Quo, "Reformasi" or Islamization? Contemporary Southeast Asia. 22(1) pp25-26. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798478. Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Jones, M. D. (2000). What Mahathir Has Wrought. The National Interest, 59, p 103. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/42897266 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Alejandro Reyes. Tim Healy. Asiaweek. Shattered Summit.
- Mohamed, M. (2001). The Unravelling of "Malay Consensus". Southeast Asian Affairs, p 219. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27912277 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- New Uncertainties for an Old Pseudo-Democracy: The Case of Malaysia Author(s): Case, p 89. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4150125. Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Hwang, In-Won (2003). Personalized Politics: The Malaysian State under Mahathir, p. 318. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 981-230-185-2.
- Weiss, p 426-427. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798468 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Weiss, p 427. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798468 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Funston, p 26. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798478 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Khoo, B. T.(2003). Beyond Mahathir: Malaysia Politics and its Discontent, London: Zed Books Ltd, p 60
- Subramaniam, S. (2001). The Dual Narrative of "Good Governance": Lessons for Understanding Political and Cultural Change in Malaysia and Singapore, Contemporary Southeast Asia, 23 (1), p 67. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798528 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Vidhu, V. (2000) Malaysian Elections 1999: Unfinished Journey. Economic and Political Weekly, 35 (31), p 2721. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4409556 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Mohamed, p 209. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27912277 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Funston, p 27. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798478 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Funston, p 32. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798478 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Funston, p 23 Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798478. Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Lee, H. G. (2002). Malay Dominance and Opposition Politics in Malaysia. Southeast Asian Affairs , p 192. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27913208 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Liow, J. (2005). The Politics behind Malaysia's Eleventh General Election. Asian Survey, 45(6), p 923. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/as.2005.45.6.907. Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Liow, p 923. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/as.2005.45.6.907 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Case, W. (1996).Elites and Regimes in Malaysia: Revisiting A Consociational Democracy. Clayton, VIC, Australia: Monash, p 51-52.
- Allers, C. (2014). Anwar Ibrahim: The Evolution of a Muslim Democrat, Singapore: Monsoon, p 178
- One of the UMNO leaders, Khairy Jamaluddin said that it was a “huge setback”.
- O'Shannassy, M. (2009). Beyond the Barisan Nasional? A Gramscian Perspective of the 2008 Malaysian General Election. Contemporary Southeast Asia, 31,(1), p 100. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41288790 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Funston, p 28. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798478 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- David Jones seems to be with Weiss on this. He states that it was not entirely clear whether Reformasi entailed Islamisation or liberalisation of political thinking. For instance, even after Anwar's wife, Wan Azizah, formed a new party, Keadilan Nasional (National Justice) which attempted to transcend ethnic and religious cleavages, this new party joined forces with the more ethnic and religious-based opposition parties that are Malay-based and thus leaving its message somewhat ambiguous.
- Jones, p 110. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/42897266. Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Weiss, p 431. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798468. Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Weiss, p 446. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798468 . Accessed: 24/10/2014.
- Alejandro Reyes. Tim Healy. Asiaweek. Shattered Summit.
- Allers, C. (2014). Anwar Ibrahim: The Evolution of a Muslim Democrat. Singapore: Monsoon.
- Billington, G. G (1998). Malaysia's Mahathir trumps 'anti-corruption' crowd. EIR, 25.
- Case, W. (1996). Elites and Regimes in Malaysia: Revisiting A Consociational Democracy. Clayton, VIC, Australia: Monash.
- Case, W. (2004). New Uncertainties for an Old Pseudo-Democracy: The Case of Malaysia. Comparative Politics. 37(1), New York: University of New York, pp. 83-104.
- Funston, J. (2000). Malaysia's Tenth Elections: Status Quo, "Reformasi" or Islamization? Contemporary Southeast Asia. 22(1) Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pp 23-59.
- Hwang, I. W. (2003). Personalized Politics: The Malaysian State under Mahathir, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 981-230-185-2.
- Jones, D. (2000). What Mahathir Has Wrought. The National Interest. 59, Center for the National Interest. pp. 101-112.
- Khoo, B. T. (2003). Beyond Mahathir: Malaysia Politics and its Discontent, London: Zed Books Ltd.
- Lee, H. G. (2002). Malay Dominance and Opposition Politics in Malaysia. Southeast Asian Affairs. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pp. 177-195.
- Liow, J. (2005). The Politics behind Malaysia's Eleventh General Election. Asian Survey. 45(6). University of California Press, pp. 907-930.
- Mohamed, M. (2001). The Unravelling of "Malay Consensus". Southeast Asian Affairs. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pp. 208-225.
- O' Shannassy, M. (2009). Beyond the Barisan Nasional? A Gramscian Perspective of the 2008 Malaysian General Election. Contemporary Southeast Asia, 31(1). Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pp 88-109.
- Subramaniam, S. (2001). The Dual Narrative of "Good Governance": Lessons for Understanding Political and Cultural Change in Malaysia and Singapore, Contemporary Southeast Asia. 23(1). Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asia, pp. 65-80.
- Vidhu, V. (2000). Malaysian Elections 1999: Unfinished Journey. Economic and Political Weekly. 35(31), pp. 2717-2724.
- Weiss, M. (1999). What Will Become of Reformasi? Ethnicity and Changing Political Norms in Malaysia. Contemporary Southeast Asia. 21(3), Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pp. 424-450.