2013 Malaysian Elections: Ethnic Politics or Urban Wave?

Journal of East Asian Studies, Vol 15, No. 2, pp. 167-198

Posted: 13 Feb 2014 Last revised: 4 Jun 2015

See all articles by Jason Ng

Jason Ng

Monash University Malaysia

Gary Rangel

Monash University Malaysia

Santha Vaithilingam

Monash University Malaysia

Subramaniam Pillay

Taylor's University

Date Written: February 27, 2015

Abstract

In this article we examine the electoral impact of urbanization vis-à-vis ethnicity in Malaysia. We employed a robust econometric technique, the fractional response logit model, on data from the recently concluded thirteenth general election. The findings show that there are both an ethnic effect and an urban effect in determining the distribution of parliamentary seats among the political groups. Strong support for the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, was evident in urban constituencies, while the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, continued to enjoy success in rural constituencies. Although Barisan Nasional is still dependent on Bumiputera support, its success is also dependent on non-Bumiputera support from rural constituencies. However, with declining birthrates among the Chinese electorates, this support may not be forthcoming in future elections. We also provide insights for both coalitions to consider in developing strategies for the next election.

Keywords: Malaysia, 13th General Election, Ethnic Politics, Fractional logit response model, Urbanisation

JEL Classification: D72, C13

Suggested Citation

Ng, Jason and Rangel, Gary and Vaithilingam, Santha and Pillay, Subramaniam, 2013 Malaysian Elections: Ethnic Politics or Urban Wave? (February 27, 2015). Journal of East Asian Studies, Vol 15, No. 2, pp. 167-198 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2395091 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2395091

Jason Ng

Monash University Malaysia ( email )

Level 5, Building 6
Jalan Lagoon Selatan
Selangor Darul Ehsan 46150
Malaysia
+603-55145850 (Phone)
+603-55146192 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://bit.ly/JasonWJNg

Gary Rangel (Contact Author)

Monash University Malaysia ( email )

Level 4, Building 6
Jalan Lagoon Selatan
Selangor Darul Ehsan 46150
Malaysia
+603-55145886 (Phone)
+603-55146192 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.my/about/school/academic/accounting-finance/gary-john-rangel-dr

Santha Vaithilingam

Monash University Malaysia ( email )

Level 4, Building 6
Jalan Lagoon Selatan
Selangor Darul Ehsan 46150
Malaysia
+603-55146390 (Phone)
+603-55146192 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.my/school-staff/Santha-Vaithilingam-Assoc.-Prof.html

Subramaniam Pillay

Taylor's University ( email )

Wisma Subang Jaya, Jalan SS 15/4
47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor
Malaysia
+603-56295092 (Phone)

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