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COMMENT | GE15: Race-based policies might trump rice-bowl promises
COMMENT | The 15th general election (GE15) could happen as early as September. Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s administration’s memorandum of understanding with Pakatan Harapan includes a pledge to not dissolve Parliament until July 31, 2022.

Beyond that, Ismail Sabri is under no obligation to ‘delay’ GE15. In fact, the Umno vice-president is under pressure to hasten it.

The government pact revolves around Umno, solidly backed by its Chinese and Indian partners in BN and loosely strung with other Malay parties Bersatu and PAS, with dependable support of Gabungan Parti Sarawak. Race-based parties, which have ruled Malaysia for 63 out of 65 years, are enjoying a resurgence.

The opposition, particularly the Harapan coalition of mainly multi-racial parties, was trounced in recent state elections. Since losing federal power in February 2020, 21 months after their monumental May 2018 victory, Harapan has returned to a familiar position on the peninsula. It has traction with the urban or semi-urban electorate but... 

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