chapter  6
24 Pages

Engaging the 2004 general election in Malaysia: contrasting roles and goals loh kok wah francis

The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition comprising 14 component parties scored a spectacular victory in the 21 March 2004 general election, polling 63.8 percent of the popular vote. In Malaysia’s first-past-the-post (or simple majority) electoral system, this translated into 198 of the 219, or 90.4 percent, parliamentary seats. This is the ruling party’s highest ever domination of parliament since Independence in 1957. It was also the eleventh time that Malaysia had gone to the polls and the eleventh time the BN (earlier the Alliance) had emerged victorious. Nothing untoward occurred during the election despite the stepping down of Dr Mahathir Mohamed who, as prime minister for 22 years, had dominated Malaysian politics.