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COMMENT | GE15 gender voting: Looking beyond ethnicity Part 1
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

- American philosopher Henry David Thoreau

COMMENT | Voting in Malaysia is primarily discussed and understood through ethnic lenses. This was especially the case for GE15, where voting was highly racially polarised after a highly racialised campaign.

Yet in Malaysia’s complex and diverse society, there are other equally important dynamics shaping political engagement, determining whether people come out to vote and who they support.

This four-part series looks at voting in GE15 through four other valuable socio-economic frameworks – gender, generation, geography (urban-rural), and class.

The findings show that to better understand GE15, and more generally how citizens engage in politics, one needs to bring in multiple analytical tools, to appreciate other social (and political) cleavages.

This ‘looking beyond’ analysis finds surprising overlooked and misunderstood shifts in voting behaviour, many of which challenge mainstream assumptions of GE15.

A gender lens

Perhaps of all the most prominent differences, the least discussed is gender.

When looking at gender...

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