May 10, 2018 – On 9 May 2018, the people of Malaysia went to the polls and cast their sacred ballots. After a six-decade run, the ruling coalition was defeated in a stunning upset by an opposition alliance led by former Malaysian leader Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. The election commission official results confirmed that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) – or Alliance for Hope– and its allies surpassed the 112 seats required majority in Parliament.


The Asia Democracy Network (ADN) congratulates the people of Malaysia for having their resounding voice heard in the result of this exercise through free and fair elections despite the countless challenges they faced in the run up to the polls. We particularly salute the youth of Malaysia who played a significant role in the elections. The youth came out to the polls in significant numbers and resoundingly called on others to partake their right to vote. As a result of their collective action, they dealt an upset to the long reign of the ruling coalition. This is testament to the importance of cultivating the youth and recognizing their leadership that is essential in ensuring, building and sustaining a democratic process through generations.


With the start of a new era in Malaysia, ADN hopes that the new government led by the former strongman Mahatir, has gained a new ally in the democratic unity coalition. We   call on all democratic forces inside and outside Malaysia to ensure that the democratic essence of the vote is embedded and practiced in the ensuing governance of the new government. Indeed, together, pro-democracy governments and civil society can deliver strong democratic change to Asia.


 Asia Democracy Network