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8 March

Eclipsing May 13

Ooi Kee Beng, Johan Saravanamuttu and Lee Hock Guan

Publication Year: 2008

For a whole generation of Malaysians, no proper closure to the traumas of the racial riots of May 13, 1969 has been possible. But then came March 8, 2008 The surprising results of the General Election on that special day have started eclipsing the fears linked for so long to that spectral night forty years ago. All the three researchers from ISEAS who each authored separate chapters for this book were in different parts of Malaysia monitoring its 12th General Election during the thirteen days of campaigning. Their analyses provide new insights into the phenomenon that Malaysians now simply refer to as “March 8”. Ooi Kee Beng scrutinizes in detail the electoral campaign in the state of Penang, Johan Saravanamuttu studies the case of Kelantan state and the elections in general, while Lee Hock Guan examines changes in the voting pattern in the Klang Valley.

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute


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Title Page, Copyright PAge

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p. v

List of Tables and Charts

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pp. vii-viii

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p. ix

Sensing that great changes were approaching in Malaysia, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) decided in early 2008 to focus on the snap general elections that Premier Abdullah Badawi had called for March 8....

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p. xi

In producing this book, we incurred more debts of gratitude to more people than can be named on this single page. Fieldwork would not amount to much if all the special people that we met during the elections campaign had not...

About the Authors

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pp. xiii-xv

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pp. 1-5

A nation trudges along by securing symbolic events, iconic periods and defining personages as pillars for its central storyline. This acquired storyline goes backwards and forwards at the same time, generating common concepts...

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1. The Opposition's Year of Living Demonstratively

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pp. 6-32

It is quite impossible to deny that Malaysia’s 12th General Elections of March 8, 2008 is a watershed in the country’s history. The significance of that day is monumental in ways that analysts are still discovering months after the fact....

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2. A Tectonic Shift in Malaysian Politics

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pp. 33-79

It was puzzling for many why Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who won by a landslide in 2004, should call a snap general election for March 8, 2008, a whole year ahead of the end of his five-year term. Much of...

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3. The Ethnic Voting Pattern for Kuala Lumpur and Selangor in 2008

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pp. 80-121

Five months before the March 2008 General Election, Bersih,1 frustrated by the BN government’s refusal to act on their demands, organized a demonstration to protest against gerrymandering, voter fraud practices, rampant irregularities...

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Postscript: Anwar's Path to Power goes via Permatang Pauh

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pp. 122-126

On August 26, 2008, former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim managed to do what the snap general elections earlier that year had stopped him from doing. He succeeded in returning to the Dewan Negara (Lower House of Parliament) after an...

Index [Includes Image Plates]

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pp. 127-131

E-ISBN-13: 9789812308979
Print-ISBN-13: 9789812308962

Page Count: 131
Publication Year: 2008

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 646982582
MUSE Marc Record: Download for 8 March

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Elections -- Malaysia -- History -- 21st century.
  • Malaysia. Parlimen -- Elections, 2008.
  • Malaysia -- Politics and government -- 21st century.
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