2018 Malaysian general election

The 2018 Malaysian general election, formally known as the 14th Malaysian general election, was held on Wednesday, 9 May 2018 for members of the 14th Parliament of Malaysia.[2] At stake were all 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat (the lower house of the Parliament of Malaysia) and 505 seats in 12 out of the 13 State Legislative Assemblies of Malaysia. The 13th Parliament of Malaysia was dissolved by the then Prime Minister Najib Razak on 7 April 2018. It would have been automatically dissolved on 24 June 2018, five years after the first meeting of the first session of the 13th Parliament of Malaysia on 24 June 2013.[3]

2018 Malaysian general election

9 May 2018

All 222 seats to the Dewan Rakyat
112 seats needed for a majority
Turnout12,299,514 (82.32%)[1]
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Mahathir Mohamad Najib Razak Abdul Hadi Awang
Party Pakatan Harapan (PPBM) + Warisan Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS)
Leader since 7 January 2018 26 March 2009 23 July 2002
Leader's seat Langkawi Pekan Marang
Last election 68 seats, 37.1%
(Pakatan Rakyat)
133 seats, 47.38% 21 seats, 14.78%
(Pakatan Rakyat)
Seats won 121 79 18
Seat change 53 54 3
Popular vote 5,781,600 4,080,797 2,051,188
Percentage 48.31% 33.80% 16.99%
Swing 11.21% 13.58% 2.21%

Prime Minister before election

Najib Razak

Elected Prime Minister

Mahathir Mohamad

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In an unprecedented victory, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, which had been the country's federal Opposition prior to the election, won a simple majority in the Dewan Rakyat together with the Sabah Heritage Party (WARISAN), with PH and WARISAN cumulatively securing 121 seats.[4][5] The election heralded the first regime change in Malaysia's history, as the erstwhile ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which had enjoyed an uninterrupted reign over the country since Malaya's independence in 1957, was voted out of power.[4][6] PH's leader, Mahathir Mohamad, was sworn in as Malaysia's Prime Minister on 10 May, a day after the election; at 93 years of age, Mahathir is also the world's oldest head of government.[7] BN, led by Najib, held onto 79 seats, becoming the new federal Opposition along with Gagasan Sejahtera (GS), which won 18 seats. The United Sabah Alliance (USA) held one seat, while three seats were won by independent politicians.[8][9]

In the simultaneous state elections held for 12 of the State Legislative Assemblies, PH retained Penang and Selangor, while capturing Kedah, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor from BN. WARISAN also seized Sabah from BN, which retained only two states - Perlis and Pahang. GS held onto Kelantan while gaining Terengganu off BN. State-level elections were not held in Sarawak, as the state holds its elections separately. However, as a consequence of the election, Sarawak-based BN component parties left the coalition to form Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), thereby taking over the state from BN.[10]

Following the election, Prime Minister Mahathir secured a royal pardon for the jailed PH Leader, Anwar Ibrahim, and has indicated that he would give way to the latter within the next few years.[11] Meanwhile, Najib resigned as BN's chairman on 12 May and was succeeded as the Leader of the Opposition by his party colleague, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.[12] Investigations within Malaysia into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, which had been halted during Najib's tenure, were resumed in the aftermath of the election, resulting in several ongoing criminal indictments against the former Prime Minister.[13][14][15]


In the previous general election in 2013, the incumbent Barisan Nasional government won re-election for the 13th consecutive time, but with a decreased mandate and losing the majority vote. Barisan Nasional chairman, Najib Razak, was re-elected as Prime Minister to a second term. The main opposition, Pakatan Rakyat, led by Anwar Ibrahim, won the majority vote but was unable to win enough seats to form the government due to Malaysia's first-past-the-post voting system and alleged gerrymandering. The election marked the first time Barisan Nasional lost the majority vote in the party's history.

Electoral system

Elections in Malaysia exists at two levels: the federal level and the state level. Federal elections are held to elect members of the Dewan Rakyat, the lower house of Parliament, while state elections are held to elect members of the 13 State Legislative Assemblies of Malaysia. The heads of executive branch at both the federal and state levels, the Prime Minister and Menteri Besar/Chief Ministers respectively, are indirectly elected, usually filled by a member of the majority party/coalition in the respective legislatures

The Dewan Rakyat is made up of 222 members of parliament, elected for a five-year term; these seats are distributed between the thirteen Malaysian states in proportion to the states' voting population. Members are elected from single-member constituencies that each elects one representative to the Dewan Rakyat using the first-past-the-post voting system. If one party obtains a majority of seats, then that party is entitled to form the Government, with its leader as Prime Minister. If the election results in no single party having a majority, there is a hung parliament. In this case, the options for forming the Government are either a minority government or a coalition. Malaysia does not practice compulsory voting and automatic voter registration. The voting age is above 21[16][17] although the age of majority in the country is 18.[18]

The redistribution of electoral boundaries for the entire country had been presented to and passed by the Dewan Rakyat, and subsequently gazetted on 29 March 2018 after obtaining the royal consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong ahead of the 14th general election.[19] Elections are conducted by the Election Commission of Malaysia (EC), which is under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister's Department.

Date and cost of the election

The Constitution of Malaysia requires a general election to be held in the fifth calendar year unless it is dissolved earlier by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong due to a motion of no-confidence or at the request of the Prime Minister. The Dewan Rakyat will be automatically dissolved five years after the first meeting of the first session of the Parliament of Malaysia.


The key dates are listed below in Malaysia Standard Time (GMT+8):

28 MarchPrime Minister Najib Razak tabled the Election Commission's redelineation report in the Dewan Rakyat[20]
6 AprilNajib Razak announced his intention to dissolve the Malaysian Parliament[21]
7 AprilFormal dissolution of Parliament[22]
10 AprilElection Commission chairman Hashim Abdullah announced that the general election will take place on 9 May 2018[2]
28 AprilNomination process of candidates for the general election begins, and the deadline (10am) for the delivery of candidate nomination papers[23][24]
28 AprilOfficial 11-day campaigning period begins[25]
5 MayEarly voting begins[26]
9 MayPolling day
10 MayInauguration of the new Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Istana Negara[27]


The cost to the taxpayer of organising the election was RM500 million – RM100 million more than the previous general election.[2]

Part of the spending was spent on indelible ink, which costed around RM4.8 million for a total of 100,000 bottles of 60mL ink imported from Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited in India.[28]

Election spending

Before the campaign, there were no limits to what a political party, candidate, or third party (corporations, unions, special interest groups, etc.) can spend: spending rules are only in force after the writs have been dropped and the campaign has begun. Malaysian election law set election spending limit at RM200,000 for each parliamentary candidate and half of the latter for each state legislature candidate.[29]

Dissolution of state legislative assemblies

While any state may dissolve its assembly independently of the Federal Parliament, the traditional practice is for most state assemblies to be dissolved at the same time as Parliament. In accordance with Malaysian law, the parliament as well as the legislative assemblies of each state (Dewan Undangan Negeri) would automatically dissolve on the fifth anniversary of the first sitting, and elections must be held within sixty days of the dissolution, unless dissolved prior to that date by their respective Heads of State on the advice of their Heads of Government.

Below are the dates of which the legislative assembly of each state dissolved:

State legislatives
First legislative day Expected last legislative day Expected election day
(on or before)
Dissolution day
Kelantan13 June 201313 June 201813 August 2018 7 April 2018[30]
Terengganu16 June 201316 June 201816 August 2018 9 April 2018[31]
Negeri Sembilan17 June 201317 June 201817 August 2018 7 April 2018[32]
Johor20 June 201320 June 201820 August 2018 7 April 2018[33]
Selangor21 June 201321 June 201821 August 2018 9 April 2018[34]
Kedah23 June 201323 June 201823 August 2018 7 April 2018[30]
Perlis28 June 201328 June 201828 August 2018 7 April 2018[35]
Penang 28 June 2013 28 June 2018 28 August 2018 10 April 2018[36]
Perak 28 June 2013 28 June 2018 28 August 2018 9 April 2018[37]
Pahang1 July 20131 July 20181 September 2018 7 April 2018[30]
Melaka 1 July 2013 1 July 2018 1 September 2018 7 April 2018[38]
Sabah13 June 201313 June 201813 September 2018 7 April 2018[39]

The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly was not dissolved as the last election was held in 2016 and the term of the state assembly is due to end in 2022.

Parties and leaders

Altogether 53 parties were eligible to contest in the election and get on the ballot and can therefore elect a representative in the Dewan Rakyat.[40] Furthermore, there are several independent candidates running in single-member constituencies.

The leader of the party commanding a majority of support in the Dewan Rakyat is the person who is called on by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to form a government as Prime Minister, while the leader of the largest party not in government becomes the Leader of the Opposition.

The table below lists parties which were represented in the 13th Dewan Rakyat.

Name Ideology Leader(s) Seats
2013 result Seats in 13th
Dewan Rakyat
Votes (%) Seats
BN Barisan Nasional
National Front
National conservatism Najib Razak 222 47.38%
133 / 222
130 / 222
PH[41] Pakatan Harapan
Alliance of Hope
Reformism / Progressivism Mahathir Mohamad 204 36.1%
67 / 222
72 / 222
GS Gagasan Sejahtera
Ideas of Prosperity
Islamic conservatism Abdul Hadi Awang 158 14.78%
21 / 222
13 / 222
WARISAN Parti Warisan Sabah
Sabah Heritage Party
Sabah Regionalism Mohd. Shafie Apdal 17 New Party
0 / 222
2 / 222
PSM Parti Sosialis Malaysia
Socialist Party of Malaysia
Democratic socialism Mohd. Nasir Hashim 4 0.19%
1 / 222
1 / 222
Independents 24
0 / 222
2 / 222

Last election pendulum

The previous General Election witnessed 133 governmental seats and 89 non-governmental seats filled the Dewan Rakyat. The government side has 44 safe seats and 34 fairly safe seats, while the other side has 33 safe seats and 18 fairly safe seats.

Extended content
Mas GadingNogeh GumbekSPDP40.6
KeningauJoseph Pairin KitinganPBS43.8
PensianganJoseph KurupPBRS44.3
Kota MaruduMaximus Johnity OngkiliPBS45.9
Palanivel K. GovindasamyMIC46.2
TenomRaime UnggiUMNO46.7
BaramAnyi NgauSPDP48.9
RanauEwon EbinUPKO49.2
BentongLiow Tiong LaiMCA49.4
BeaufortAzizah Mohd DunUMNO49.4
LabisChua Tee YongMCA49.5
Sungai BesarNoriah KasnonUMNO49.6
Kuala SelangorIrmohizam IbrahimUMNO49.6
Pasir GudangNormala Abdul SamadUMNO49.6
Bagan SeraiNoor Azmi GhazaliUMNO49.7
Hulu SelangorKamalanathan PanchanathanMIC49.9
KeterehAnnuar MusaUMNO50.1
MachangAhmad Jazlan YaakubUMNO50.1
TebrauKhoo Soo SeangMCA50.1
Kota BeludAbdul Rahman DahlanUMNO50.1
JeraiJamil Khir BaharomUMNO50.2
SegamatSubramaniam SathasivamMIC50.3
Kuala KangsarWan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar
Wan Ahmad
ArauShahidan KassimUMNO50.6
BeraIsmail Sabri YaakobUMNO50.6
TitiwangsaJohari Abdul GhaniUMNO50.6
LedangHamim SamuriUMNO50.7
Tasek GelugorShabudin YahayaUMNO50.8
SetiawangsaAhmad Fauzi ZahariUMNO50.8
TuaranMadius TangauUPKO50.8
Bandar Baharu
Abd. Aziz Sheikh FadzirUMNO51.0
MuarRazali IbrahimUMNO51.0
PulaiNur Jazlan MohamedUMNO51.0
Balik PulauHilmi YahayaUMNO51.1
PendangOthman AbdulUMNO51.5
MerbokIsmail DautUMNO51.9
Bagan DatokAhmad Zahid HamidiUMNO52.1
Sabak BernamMohd Fasiah Mohd FakehUMNO52.1
BalingAbdul Azeez Abdul RahimUMNO52.5
SikMansor Abd RahmanUMNO52.6
SepanggarJumat IdrisUMNO52.6
SaratokWilliam IkomSPDP52.6
JerlunOthman AzizUMNO52.8
Tanjong MalimOng Ka ChuanMCA53.0
Tanah MerahIkmal Hisham Abdul AzizUMNO53.1
SekijangAnuar Abdul ManapUMNO53.2
JerantutAhmad Nazlan IdrisUMNO53.7
Kepala BatasReezal Merican Naina MericanUMNO53.8
Padang RengasMohamed Nazri Abdul AzizUMNO53.8
TawauMary Yap Kain ChingPBS53.8
KangarShaharuddin IsmailUMNO53.9
Sri AmanMasir KujatPRS54.4
Tanjong KarangNoh OmarUMNO54.5
Padang TerapMahdzir KhalidUMNO54.6
Lubok AntuWilliam Nyallau BadakPRS54.7
Tanjong PiaiWee Jeck SengMCA55.0
LipisAbdul Rahman MohamadUMNO55.1
TambunAhmad Husni HanadzlahUMNO55.3
LarutHamzah ZainudinUMNO55.6
Johor BahruShahrir Abdul SamadUMNO55.8
Fairly safe
Batu SapiLinda Tsen Thau LinPBS56.0
BesutIdris JusohUMNO56.1
SetiuChe Mohamad Zulkifly JusohUMNO56.1
TapahSaravanan MuruganMIC56.1
Sri GadingAziz KaprawiUMNO56.4
JeliMustapa MohamedUMNO56.5
Hulu TerengganuJailani JohariUMNO56.5
KemamanAhmad Shabery CheekUMNO56.9
ParitMohd Zaim Abu HassanUMNO56.9
JempolMohd Isa Abdul SamadUMNO56.9
Liang Teck MengGERAKAN57.0
Pasir SalakTajuddin Abdul RahmanUMNO57.4
Kuala KrauIsmail Mohamed SaidUMNO57.5
BintuluTiong King SingSPDP57.6
LenggongShamsul Anuar NasarahUMNO58.1
SelangauJoseph Entulu BelaunPRS58.1
SilamNasrun MansurUMNO58.2
JulauJoseph Salang GandumPRS58.3
Kubang PasuMohd Johari BaharumUMNO58.4
Paya BesarAbdul Manan IsmailUMNO58.4
JelebuZainuddin IsmailUMNO58.4
Ayer HitamWee Ka SiongMCA58.4
KanowitAaron Ago DagangPRS58.5
PutatanMarcus MojigohUPKO58.7
MaranIsmail MuttalibUMNO59.1
Alor GajahKoh Nai KwongMCA59.2
JasinAhmad HamzahUMNO59.5
KimanisAnifah AmanUMNO59.5
Padang BesarZahidi Zainul AbidinUMNO59.6
KudatAbdul Rahim BakriUMNO60.2
TampinShaziman Abu MansorUMNO60.4
GerikHasbullah OsmanUMNO60.6
Parit SulongNoraini AhmadUMNO60.9
Gua MusangTengku Razaleigh HamzahUMNO61.0
Kuala PilahHasan MalekUMNO61.0
LibaranJuslie AjirolUMNO61.2
Tangga BatuAbu Bakar Mohamad DiahUMNO61.4
Hulu RajangUgak KumbongPRS61.8
RembauKhairy JamaluddinUMNO62.1
MambongJames Dawos MamitPBB62.8
SembrongHishammuddin HusseinUMNO63.7
SibutiAhmad Lai BujangUMNO63.8
PaparRosnah Abdul Rashid ShirlinUMNO63.9
KalabakanAbdul Ghapur SallehUMNO64.0
PagohMuhyiddin YassinUMNO64.8
PontianAhmad MaslanUMNO65.0
RompinJamaluddin JarjisUMNO65.5
LabuanRozman IsliUMNO65.6
KinabatanganBung Moktar RadinUMNO67.0
LangkawiNawawi AhmadUMNO67.2
SipitangSapawi AhmadUMNO67.3
PutrajayaTengku Adnan Tengku MansorUMNO69.0
Masjid TanahMas Ermieyati SamsudinUMNO69.7
BeluranRonald KiandeeUMNO69.7
MersingAbdul Latiff AhmadUMNO70.2
LawasHenry Sum AgongPBB70.6
LimbangHasbi HabibollahPBB72.8
SerianRichard Riot JaemSUPP73.5
TenggaraHalimah Mohamed SadiqueUMNO73.7
PekanNajib RazakUMNO75.2
Batang LuparRohani Abdul KarimPBB75.4
MukahLeo Michael ToyadPBB75.5
BetongDouglas Uggah EmbasPBB75.9
Kota SamarahanRubiah WangPBB76.8
KapitAlexander Nanta LinggiPBB77.1
Petra JayaFadillah YusofPBB77.8
SempornaMohd Shafie ApdalUMNO81.1
PengerangAzalina Othman SaidUMNO81.9
Kota TinggiNoor Ehsanuddin
Mohd Harun Narrashid
SantubongWan Junaidi Tuanku JaafarPBB84.4
Batang SadongNancy ShukriPBB85.5
IganWahab DolahPBB85.8
Tanjong ManisNorah Abdul RahmanPBB87.4
Alor SetarGooi Hsiao-LeungPKR47.4
SepangMohamed Hanipa MaidinPAS49.1
BachokAhmad Marzuk ShaaryPAS49.5
Kuala NerusMohd Khairuddin Aman RazaliPAS49.9
Telok KemangKamarul Bahrin AbbasPKR49.9
TemerlohNasrudin HassanPAS50.1
Batu PahatMohd Idris JusiPKR50.1
Bukit GantangIdris AhmadPAS50.2
SarikeiWong Ling BiuDAP50.4
Pasir PutehNik Mazian Nik MohamadPAS50.8
Lembah PantaiNurul Izzah AnwarPKR51.0
SandakanWong Tien FattDAP51.0
MiriMichael Teo Yu KengPKR51.0
Kuala KraiMohd Hatta RamliPAS51.2
GombakMohamed Azmin AliPKR51.4
DungunWan Hassan Mohd RamliPAS51.9
Sungai SiputMichael Jeyakumar DevarajPKR51.9
RaubAriff Sabri Abdul AzizDAP52.1
SibuOscar Ling Chai YewDAP52.1
Pokok SenaMahfuz OmarPAS52.2
Kuala LangatAbdullah Sani Abdul HamidPKR52.2
SerembanLoke Siew FookDAP52.2
Kuala KedahAzman IsmailPKR52.3
MarangAbdul Hadi AwangPAS52.6
Bukit KatilShamsul Iskandar Md. AkinPKR52.6
Padang SeraiSurendran NagarajanPKR53.0
BakriEr Teck HwaDAP53.4
KluangLiew Chin TongDAP54.0
KuantanFuziah SallehPKR54.1
Wangsa MajuTan Kee KwongPKR54.4
Sungai PetaniJohari AbdulPKR54.7
KamparKo Chung SenDAP54.7
LumutMohamad Imran Abdul HamidPKR54.8
KaparManivannan GowindasamyPKR55.1
BeruasNgeh Koo HamDAP55.5
Shah AlamKhalid SamadPAS55.7
TumpatKamarudin JaffarPAS55.8
Pasir MasNik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul AzizPAS55.8
Fairly safe
Kuala TerengganuRaja Kamarul Bahrin ShahPAS56.0
Indera MahkotaFauzi Abdul RahmanPKR56.1
Telok IntanSeah Leong PengDAP56.3
Bandar Tun RazakAbdul Khalid IbrahimPKR56.4
SelayangWilliam Leong Jee KeenPKR56.7
Rantau PanjangSiti Zailah Mohd YusoffPAS56.9
Nibong TebalMansor OthmanPKR57.1
Hulu LangatChe Rosli Che MatPAS57.1
Gelang PatahLim Kit SiangDAP57.2
BatuChua Tian ChangPKR57.9
KulaiTeo Nie ChingDAP57.9
TaipingNga Kor MingDAP58.5
GopengLee Boon ChyePKR58.5
Permatang PauhWan Azizah Wan IsmailPKR58.6
AmpangZuraida KamarudinPKR58.8
SubangSivarasa K. RasiahPKR58.8
Parit BuntarMujahid Yusof RawaPAS58.9
LanangAlice Lau Kiong YiengDAP59.3
Kota BharuTakiyuddin HassanPAS61.5
PenampangIgnatius Dorell LeikingPKR61.8
Kota MelakaSim Tong HimDAP62.3
Petaling Jaya
Hee Loy SianPKR63.0
Pengkalan ChepaIzani HusinPAS63.2
Bayan BaruSim Tze TzinPKR63.4
StampinJulian Tan Kok PingDAP63.7
KlangCharles Anthony R. SantiagoDAP63.9
Kota RajaSiti Mariah MahmudPAS63.9
SegambutLim Lip EngDAP64.6
Kubang KerianAhmad Baihaki AtiqullahPAS64.7
RasahTeo Kok SeongDAP65.1
Kelana JayaWong ChenPKR65.8
PandanRafizi RamliPKR65.9
PuchongGobind Singh DeoDAP66.7
SerdangOng Kian MingDAP67.1
JelutongJeff Ooi Chuan AunDAP70.3
Ipoh BaratKulasegaran MurugesonDAP72.2
Kota KinabaluWong Sze PhinDAP72.2
Bukit BintangFong Kui LunDAP72.8
Batu KawanKasthuriraani PattoDAP73.1
Bandar KuchingChong Chieng JenDAP73.8
Ipoh TimorSu Keong SiongDAP75.5
Batu GajahSivakumar Varatharaju NaiduDAP76.7
Bukit BenderaZairil Khir JohariDAP77.2
BaganLim Guan EngDAP77.8
Bukit GelugorKarpal Singh Ram SinghDAP80.1
Bukit MertajamSteven Sim Chee KiongDAP80.5
CherasTan Kok WaiDAP81.2
Petaling Jaya
Tony Pua Kiam WeeDAP81.3
KepongTan Seng GiawDAP81.8
TanjongNg Wei AikDAP82.8
SeputehTeresa Kok Suh SimDAP85.7

Politicians not standing

Members of Parliament not standing for re-election

MP Seat First elected Party Reason Ref
Shaharuddin Ismail Kangar 2013 Barisan Nasional [42]
Gooi Hsiao-Leung Alor Setar 2013 People's Justice Party Transferred to Bukit Tengah state seat [43]
Ismail Daut Merbok 2013 Barisan Nasional [44]
N. Surendran Padang Serai 2013 People's Justice Party [45]
Izani Husin Pengkalan Chepa 2013 Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party Transferred to Kijang state seat [46]
Ahmad Baihaki Atiqullah Kubang Kerian 2013 Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party [46]
Nik Mazian Nik Mohamad Pasir Putih 2013 Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party [46]
Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh Setiu 2013 Barisan Nasional [47]
Jailani Johari Hulu Terengganu 2013 Barisan Nasional [47]
Zairil Khir Johari Bukit Bendera 2013 Democratic Action Party Transferred to Tanjong Bunga state seat [48]
Ng Wei Aik Tanjong 2013 Democratic Action Party [49]
Jeff Ooi Jelutong 2008 Democratic Action Party [49]
Mohd Zaim Abu Hassan Parit 2013 Barisan Nasional [50]
Ko Chung Sen Kampar 2013 Democratic Action Party Transferred to Kepayang state seat [51]
Mohamad Imran Abdul Hamid Lumut 2013 People's Justice Party Transferred to Bukit Chandan state seat [52]
Ong Ka Chuan Tanjong Malim 2008 Barisan Nasional Not selected [53]
G. Palanivel Cameron Highlands 2013 Independent Not seeking re-election [54]
Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz Raub 2013 Democratic Action Party Health concerns [55]
Tengku Azlan Jerantut 1999 Barisan Nasional [56]
Fauzi Abdul Rahman Indera Mahkota 2013 People's Justice Party Transferred to Sungai Lembing state seat [57]
Abdul Manan Ismail Paya Besar 2008 Barisan Nasional Death [58]
Rafizi Ramli Pandan 2013 People's Justice Party Court conviction [59]
Hee Loy Sian Petaling Jaya Selatan 2008 People's Justice Party Transferred to Kajang state seat [60]
G. Manivannan Kapar 2013 People's Justice Party Transferred to Hutan Melintang state seat [61]
Siti Mariah Mahmud Kota Raja 2008 National Trust Party Transferred to Seri Serdang state seat [60]
Tan Seng Giaw Kepong 1982 Democratic Action Party [62]
Tian Chua Batu 2008 People's Justice Party Failed in the nomination process [63]
Ahmad Fauzi Zahari Setiawangsa 2013 Barisan Nasional [64]
Abdul Khalid Ibrahim Bandar Tun Razak 2008 Independent Retired from politics [65]
Mohd Isa Abdul Samad Jempol 2013 Barisan Nasional Corruption investigations [66]
Teo Kok Seong Rasah 2013 Democratic Action Party Transferred to Bahau state seat [67]
Kamarul Baharin Abbas Telok Kemang 2008 People's Justice Party [68]
Koh Nai Kwong Alor Gajah 2013 Barisan Nasional Transferred to Machap Jaya state seat [69]
Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah Tangga Batu 2013 Barisan Nasional Transferred to Paya Rumput state seat [70]
Sim Tong Him Kota Melaka 2008 Independent Transferred to Kota Laksamana state seat [71]
Anuar Abdul Manap Sekijang 2013 Barisan Nasional Transferred to Kemelah state seat [72]
Er Teck Hwa Bakri 2008 Democratic Action Party [73]
Mohd Idris Jusi Batu Pahat 2013 People's Justice Party [74]
Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Kota Tinggi 2013 Barisan Nasional [75]
Khoo Soo Seang Tebrau 2013 Barisan Nasional [76]
Normala Abdul Samad Pasir Gudang 2013 Barisan Nasional [75]
Jumat Idris Sepanggar 2013 Barisan Nasional Party membership suspended [77]
Wong Sze Phin Kota Kinabalu 2013 Democratic Action Party Transferred to Sri Tanjung state seat [78]
Sapawi Ahmad Sipitang 2008 Barisan Nasional Transferred to Sindumin state seat [79]
Joseph Pairin Kitingan Keningau 1986 Barisan Nasional Not seeking re-election [80]
Raime Unggi Tenom 2004 Barisan Nasional [81]
Joseph Kurup Pensiangan 2008 Barisan Nasional Not seeking re-election [82]
Juslie Ajirol Libaran 1999 Barisan Nasional Transferred to Gum-Gum state seat [79]
Julian Tan Kok Ping Stampin 2013 Democratic Action Party Retired from politics [83]
James Dawos Mamit Mambong 1999 Barisan Nasional Health concerns [84]
William Nyallau Badak Lubok Antu 2008 Barisan Nasional Dropped by party [85]
Douglas Uggah Embas Betong 1986 Barisan Nasional [86]
William Ikom Mawan Saratok 2013 Barisan Nasional Unable to contest due to PBB's single-seat policy [87]
Norah Abdul Rahman Tanjong Manis 2008 Barisan Nasional Health concerns [88]
Wahab Dolah Igan 2004 Barisan Nasional [89]
Leo Michael Toyad Mukah 1982 Barisan Nasional [89]
Joseph Entulu Belaun Selangau 2004 Barisan Nasional Dropped by party [90]
Ahmad Lai Bujang Sibuti 2008 Barisan Nasional Health concerns [91]


Newspapers, organisations and individuals have endorsed parties or individual candidates for the election.

Election observers

The Election Commission (EC) has invited 14 countries to participate in the polls as foreign observers, comprising representatives of election management bodies from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Commonwealth of Nations, Asian and European countries as well as a study and support centre for the Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre based in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Seven countries agreed to send representatives to observe the elections, namely Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Thailand and Timor-Leste.[92] The invitation was also extended to India, Pakistan and Uzbekistan of which nine countries observers arrived on 7 May.[93] The EC also appointed 1,236 election observers from 14 local non-governmental organisations.[94]


All 222 parliamentary seats (and 505 seats of 12 state legislative assemblies) were contested in this election. The nationwide counting of votes began at 17:00 Malaysian time on 9 May.[95] The decision to close the polling stations at 17:00 was met with protests by disgruntled would-be voters who contended that, given the longer-than-usual queues, the Election Commission (EC) could have extended the polling hours, as had been done in the previous elections.[96][97]

The first unofficial result came from the constituency of Baram in Sarawak, which was won by Barisan Nasional (BN).[98] Despite BN's early lead, by 20:30, Pakatan Harapan (PH) and BN were almost neck and neck.[99] The states of Sarawak and Sabah, long regarded as BN's "fixed deposits", witnessed a significant swing in favour of PH and the Sabah Heritage Party (WARISAN) respectively.[100][101][102] In a further blow to BN's chances, several leaders of BN's component parties, such as Subramaniam Sathasivam (MIC), Liow Tiong Lai (MCA) and Mah Siew Keong (Gerakan), were defeated in their respective constituencies by PH candidates.[95][103] Mahathir Mohamad, PH's Prime Ministerial candidate, secured the constituency of Langkawi by 21:45.[95] As the night wore on, it was reported that PH also retained the states of Penang and Selangor with larger majorities.[104][105]

Stunned by the rapidly deteriorating turn of events, federal authorities attempted to stymie the release of unofficial election results. At 21:13, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) ordered Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block Malaysiakini and its sister websites, which were providing live updates of the poll counting, on the grounds that the updates "may affect national stability, public order and harmony, and economic stability".[106] Meanwhile, unmarked cars, allegedly carrying fake ballot boxes, were spotted entering some of the counting stations. Enraged onlookers tried to stop the cars, leading to sporadic rioting.[107] The most serious rioting occurred in the town of Ayer Hitam in Johor; the rioters in the town were eventually dispersed by the Royal Malaysia Police's Federal Reserve Unit (FRU).[108]

At about 23:20, Mahathir claimed during a press conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Petaling Jaya that PH had already exceeded the simple majority of 112 seats needed to form the federal government.[109][110] He added that PH had successfully wrested the states of Negeri Sembilan, Malacca, Johor and Kedah from BN. However, Mahathir alleged that some EC officers were refusing to sign Form 14 in their respective constituencies, which is required for the results to be announced. He further warned that although "Malaysians are not violent people, they should not take this lying down".[110]

Following the press conference, the EC started releasing the official election results just after midnight.[111] However, the official results were continuously delayed and announced only gradually, as the counting of votes was said to be still ongoing in several places.[112] At about 02:30, right after unofficial results had confirmed PH's simple majority, Mahathir, flanked by several PH leaders, gave another press conference, announcing that the Istana Negara (National Palace) had summoned the leader of the People's Justice Party (PKR) - the party whose logo was used by PH in the polls - and that he would be sworn in as the nation's seventh Prime Minister later that day.[95][110]

Tellingly, BN's victory celebrations at Kuala Lumpur's Putra World Trade Centre, which had been customary in the event of a BN electoral victory, did not materialise.[113] Instead, BN's top echelons held a closed door meeting at the private residence of the outgoing Prime Minister and BN chief, Najib Razak.[113][114] This sparked fears that the defeated incumbent government would resort to martial law to cling to federal power.[115] When informed of the coalition's impending defeat, a distraught Najib asked "do people really hate me that much?", while another BN politician told the press after the meeting that "whatever it is, we need to respect the will of the people".[113][116] In any event, martial law was never touched upon in the meeting.[114]

The EC announced the full official election results shortly before 05:00, where it was revealed that the states of Sabah and Perak were left with hung legislative assemblies.[112][117] Meanwhile, the Gagasan Sejahtera (GS) coalition, led by the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), was not only able to retain Kelantan, it also captured the state of Terengganu from BN. Najib finally conceded defeat during a press conference at 11:00.[118]


121 79 18 1 3
 Summary of the 9 May 2018 Malaysian Dewan Rakyat election results
Party Vote Seats
Votes % Won % +/–
Pakatan Harapan[lower-alpha 1]PH5,518,638[119]45.6811350.90 45
People's Justice PartyPKR2,046,39416.944721.17 17
Democratic Action Party[lower-alpha 2]DAP2,098,06818.924218.92 4
Malaysian United Indigenous PartyPPBM718,6485.95135.86 13
National Trust Party[lower-alpha 3]PAN655,5285.43114.95 11
Sabah Heritage Party (Pakatan Harapan ally)WARISAN280,5202.3283.61 8
National Front[lower-alpha 4]BN4,080,79733.777935.59 54
United Malays National OrganisationUMNO2,525,71320.905424.32 34
United Bumiputera Heritage PartyPBB220,4791.83135.86 1
Sarawak People's PartyPRS59,2180.4931.35 3
Malaysian Indian CongressMIC167,0611.3821.35 2
Progressive Democratic PartyPDP59,8530.5020.90 2
Malaysian Chinese AssociationMCA653,3465.4110.45 6
Sarawak United People's PartySUPP122,5401.0110.45
United Sabah PartyPBS58,3510.4810.45 3
United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut OrganisationUPKO57,0620.4710.45 2
United Sabah People's PartyPBRS11,7830.1010.45
Malaysian People's Movement PartyGERAKAN128,9731.0700 1
Liberal Democratic PartyLDP8,9960.0700
People's Progressive PartymyPPP7,4220.0600
Ideas of ProsperityGS2,041,18616.90188.11 3
Pan-Malaysian Islamic PartyPAS2,032,08016.82188.11 3
Malaysian National Alliance Party[lower-alpha 5]IKATAN9,0250.0800
Pan-Malaysian Islamic FrontBERJASA810.0000
Love Malaysia Party (Gagasan Sejahtera strategic partner)PCM5020.0000
United Sabah AllianceUSA67,1750.5610.45 1
Homeland Solidarity PartySTAR21,3610.1810.45 1
Sabah People's Hope PartyPHRS37,7080.3100
Sabah Progressive PartySAPP6,0900.0500
Sabah People's Unity PartyPPRS2,0160.0200
Love Sabah PartyPCS8,6030.0700
Socialist Party of MalaysiaPSM3,7820.0300 1
Malaysian People's PartyPRM2,3720.0200
Malaysian United PartyMUP2,1020.0200
State Reform PartySTAR1,2990.0100
Sabah Native Co-operation PartyAnak Negeri1,1730.0100
People’s Alliance For Justice of PeacePEACE1,0050.0100
Penang Front PartyPFP8920.0000
New Sarawak Native People's PartyPBDSB5380.0000
Land of the Hornbill PartyPBK3920.0000
People's Alternative PartyPAP3020.0000
IndependentsIND71,1530.5931.35 3
Valid votes12,082,431[119]
Invalid/blank votes217,083[119]
Total votes (voter turnout: 82.32%)12,299,514100.00222100.00TBA
Did not vote2,641,110
Registered voters[lower-alpha 6]14,940,624
Ordinary voters[lower-alpha 6]14,636,716
Early voters[lower-alpha 6]300,255
Postal voters[lower-alpha 6]3,653
Voting age population[lower-alpha 7] (aged 21 years and above)18,359,670
Malaysian population[lower-alpha 8]32,258,900

Source: Election Commission of Malaysia (SPR)[120]

  1. Contested using People's Justice Party election symbol on the ballot papers.
  2. Contested using rocket election symbol on the ballot papers in East Malaysia.
  3. Contested using white mountain election symbol on the ballot papers in Batu Sapi, Sabah.
  4. Contested using dacing election symbol on the ballot papers.
  5. Contested using green moon election symbol on the ballot papers in the election.
  6. Abdullah, Mohd. Hashim (10 April 2018). Urusan Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 (in Malay). SPR Media Statement. Retrieved on 8 May 2018.
  7. The estimates are correct as at February 2018. See Zulkipli, Nur Lela (12 February 2018). 3.6 juta orang muda belum daftar pengundi (in Malay). Berita Harian. Retrieved on 9 May 2018.
  8. Malaysia (6 February 2018). Perangkaan Demografi Suku Tahun Keempat (ST4) 2017, Malaysia (in Malay). Department of Statistics Malaysia Media Statement. Retrieved on 9 May 2018.
Summary of the 2018 Malaysian Dewan Rakyat election results[121]

** Fraction of total popular votes in each state rounded to the nearest percent

* Fraction of total seats in each state rounded to the nearest percent

± Change in number of seats from before the election
State /
federal territory
Barisan Nasional Pakatan Harapan + Warisan Gagasan Sejahtera Other / Independent
Votes%Seats%±Votes%Seats%±Votes%Seats%± Votes%Seats % ±
Johor 581,662 38.6 8 31 13 819,518 54.4 18 69 13 105,375 6.99 0 0 818 0.05 0 0
Kedah 282,273 30.0 2 13 8 362,256 38.5 10 67 6 295,413 31.4 3 20 2 360 0.04 0 0
Kelantan 320,384 39.1 5 36 101,136 12.3 0 0 393,450 48.0 9 64 5373 0.65 0 0
Malacca 157,339 38.1 2 33 2 218,415 52.9 4 67 2 35,733 8.65 0 0 1415 0.34 0 0
Negeri Sembilan 179,518 36.1 3 38 2 267,951 53.9 5 63 2 49,478 9.95 0 0 302 0.06 0 0
Pahang 285,912 43.2 9 64 1 204,965 30.9 5 36 2 170,605 25.8 0 0 1 976 0.15 0 0
Penang 177,631 22.5 2 15 1 543,298 68.8 11 85 1 65,005 8.24 0 0 3191 0.40 0 0
Perak 395,355 33.2 11 46 1 597,901 50.3 13 54 5 193,551 16.3 0 0 2 2460 0.21 0 0
Perlis 46,885 38.8 2 67 1 46,194 38.2 1 33 1 27,701 22.9 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sabah 335,587 39.8 10 40 12 416,455 51.2 14 56 11 13,295 1.58 0 0 75,611 0.09 1 3.34 1
Selangor 427,443 20.8 2 9 3 1,312,053 63.8 20 91 7 312,898 15.2 0 0 4 3527 0.17 0 0
Terengganu 252,461 40.7 2 25 2 59,834 9.64 0 0 1 308,252 49.7 6 75 3 0 0 0 0
Sarawak 462,090 52.5 19 61 6 381,863 43.4 10 32 4 10,591 1.20 0 0 3234 0.37 2 0 2
WP Kuala Lumpur 153,945 22.1 0 0 2 486,974 69.9 10 100 2 54,569 7.83 0 0 1019 0.15 0 0
WP Labuan 10,164 47.6 1 100 8,714 40.8 0 0 1,555 7.28 0 0 925 4.33 0 0
WP Putrajaya 12,148 49.5 1 100 8,776 35.7 0 0 3,634 14.8 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 4,080,797 35.6 79 32.9 54 5,615,822 45.56 122 54.9 55 2,051,188 16.99 18 8.11 4 99,211 0.82 3 1.35 3


  Pakatan Harapan (55.86%)
  Barisan Nasional (35.59%)
  Gagasan Sejahtera (8.10%)
  Other / Independent (0.44%)
Vote share
Pakatan Harapan + WARISAN
Barisan Nasional
Gagasan Sejahtera
Parliamentary seats
Pakatan Harapan + WARISAN
Barisan Nasional
Gagasan Sejahtera
United Sabah Alliance

State assemblies

Summary of the 2018 Malaysian Dewan Undangan Negeri election results[122]

** Fraction of total popular votes in each state rounded to the nearest percent
* Fraction of total seats in each state rounded to the nearest percent

± Change in number of seats from before the election
State /
Federal Territory
Barisan Nasional Pakatan Harapan Gagasan Sejahtera Other / Independent
Votes%Seats%±Votes%Seats%±Votes%Seats%± Votes%Seats % ±
Johor 582,265 38.8 19 33.9 18 803,148 53.6 36 64.3 20 113,216 7.6 1 1.8 2 721 0 0 0
Kedah 278,694 29.6 3 8.3 17 343,519 36.5 18 50 9 313,171 33.7 15 41.7 8 930 0.1 0 0
Kelantan 308,639 37.6 8 17.8 4 82,243 10.0 0 0 2 426,602 52.0 37 82.2 6 3,064 0.4 0 0
Malacca 156,318 37.8 13 46.4 8 211,153 51.1 15 53.6 9 44,537 10.8 0 0 1 1,148 0.3 0 0
Negeri Sembilan 182,294 38.0 16 44.4 6 258,737 53.9 20 55.6 6 35,913 7.5 0 0 3,059 0.6 0 0
Pahang 275,766 41.8 25 59.5 5 190,711 28.9 9 21.4 1 192,176 29.1 8 19.0 6 1,510 0.2 0 0
Penang 176,723 22.4 2 5.0 8 530,008 67.2 37 92.5 8 77,171 9.8 1 2.5 4,785 0.6 0 0
Perak 395,708 33.3 27 45.0 4 595,219 50.1 29 48.3 5 194,735 16.4 3 5.1 1 2,979 0.3 0 0
Perlis 47,151 39.0 10 66.7 3 42,220 34.9 3 20.0 2 31,335 25.9 2 13.3 1 132 0.1 0 0
Sabah 355,091 42.0 29 48.3 19 398,340 47.2 29 48.3 18 11,241 1.3 0 0.0 79.945 9.5 2 3.3 1
Selangor 450,742 21.9 4 7.1 8 1,303,102 63.4 51 91.1 20 296,250 14.4 1 1.8 12 6,324 0.3 0 0
Terengganu 261,653 42.2 10 31.3 7 45,429 7.3 0 0 1 313,503 50.5 22 67.8 8 0 0 0 0
Total 3,471,044 27.4 168 32.9 107 7,132,462 56.3 247 48.9 93 2,049,850 16.2 90 17.8 13 24,732 0.2 2 0.4 1

Seats that changed allegiance

No. Seat Previous Party (2013) Current Party (2018)
P002 Kangar Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P004 Langkawi Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)
P005 Jerlun Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)
P006 Kubang Pasu Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)
P008 Pokok Sena Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS) Pakatan Harapan (AMANAH)
P011 Pendang Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS)
P012 Jerai Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS)
P013 Sik Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS)
P014 Merbok Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P018 Kulim-Bandar Baharu Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P034 Setiu Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS)
P040 Kemaman Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS)
P053 Balik Pulau Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P057 Parit Buntar Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS) Pakatan Harapan (AMANAH)
P059 Bukit Gantang Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS) Barisan Nasional (UMNO)
P062 Sungai Siput Socialist Party of Malaysia Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P063 Tambun Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)
P074 Lumut Pakatan Harapan (PKR) Pakatan Harapan (AMANAH)
P077 Tanjong Malim Barisan Nasional (MCA) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P088 Temerloh Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS) Pakatan Harapan (AMANAH)
P089 Bentong Barisan Nasional (MCA) Pakatan Harapan (DAP)
P093 Sungai Besar Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)
P094 Hulu Selangor Barisan Nasional (MIC) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P096 Kuala Selangor Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (AMANAH)
P101 Hulu Langat Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS) Pakatan Harapan (AMANAH)
P108 Shah Alam Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS) Pakatan Harapan (AMANAH)
P111 Kota Raja Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS) Pakatan Harapan (AMANAH)
P113 Sepang Gagasan Sejahtera (PAS) Pakatan Harapan (AMANAH)
P115 Batu Pakatan Harapan (PKR) Independent
P118 Setiawangsa Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P119 Titiwangsa Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)
P129 Kuala Pilah Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)
P133 Tampin Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (AMANAH)
P135 Alor Gajah Barisan Nasional (MCA) Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)
P136 Tangga Batu Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P140 Segamat Barisan Nasional (MIC) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P141 Sekijang Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P142 Labis Barisan Nasional (MCA) Pakatan Harapan (DAP)
P143 Pagoh Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)
P144 Ledang Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P146 Muar Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)
P149 Sri Gading Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)
P151 Simpang Renggam Barisan Nasional (GERAKAN) Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)
P158 Tebrau Barisan Nasional (MCA) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P159 Pasir Gudang Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P160 Johor Bahru Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P161 Pulai Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (AMANAH)
P165 Tanjung Piai Barisan Nasional (MCA) Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)
P169 Kota Belud Barisan Nasional (UMNO) WARISAN
P171 Sepanggar Barisan Nasional (UMNO) WARISAN
P173 Putatan Barisan Nasional (UPKO) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P174 Penampang Pakatan Harapan (PKR) WARISAN
P175 Papar Barisan Nasional (UMNO) WARISAN
P179 Ranau Barisan Nasional (UPKO) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P180 Keningau Barisan Nasional (PBS) United Sabah Alliance (STAR)
P181 Tenom Barisan Nasional (UMNO) Pakatan Harapan (DAP)
P185 Batu Sapi Barisan Nasional (PBS) WARISAN
P188 Silam Barisan Nasional (UMNO) WARISAN
P189 Semporna Barisan Nasional (UMNO) WARISAN
P190 Tawau Barisan Nasional (PBS) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P191 Kalabakan Barisan Nasional (UMNO) WARISAN
P192 Mas Gading Barisan Nasional (PDP) Pakatan Harapan (DAP)
P198 Puncak Borneo Barisan Nasional (PBB) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P203 Lubok Antu Barisan Nasional (PRS) Independent
P205 Saratok Barisan Nasional (PDP) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)
P209 Julau Barisan Nasional (PRS) Independent
P214 Selangau Barisan Nasional (PRS) Pakatan Harapan (PKR)


Pakatan's victory triggered nationwide celebrations, marking the end of a 61-year rule by Barisan Nasional (and preceding Alliance Party).[123] Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as the Prime Minister on the night of 10 May at the Istana Negara by Yang di Pertuan Agong Muhammad V, triggering more nationwide celebrations.[124]

Defections and state government formations

The general election resulted in a hung parliament in the 60-seat Sabah State Legislative Assembly, after Barisan Nasional and the Warisan-Pakatan pact both won 29 seats in the election. This made the Homeland Solidarity Party (STAR) as the 'kingmakers', as the party won two state seats, giving them the power to give either bloc the mandate to form the state government. Considering that STAR is an opposition party, it was wildly expected for them to support a Warisan-led government. However, the party's leadership chose to support a Barisan government instead, sparking mass protests across the state by opposition supporters.[125] As such, Barisan Nasional, with the support of STAR, formed the next Sabah state government, with Musa Aman chosen as Chief Minister.[126] However, the formation of government didn't last long after one of Barisan's component parties, the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO), which won five state seats, withdrew from the coalition and announced support for a Warisan-led government in Sabah.[127] Warisan president, Shafie Apdal, was later sworn in as the new Sabah Chief Minister the day after.[128] On the same day, another Sabah-based Barisan Nasional component party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), also announced their withdrawal from the coalition, citing their poor performance in the election, losing in every constituency they contested in.[129]

The day afterwards, another two Sabah-based Barisan Nasional component party, the United Sabah People's Party (PBRS) and the United Sabah Party (PBS), also announced that they had left Barisan. PBRS stated that they will seek an alliance with Pakatan Harapan and will apply for membership in the ruling party coalition,[130] while PBS stated that they are seeking to form a new Sabah-based coalition, compromising of all Sabah Opposition parties.[131]

Meanwhile, the general election also resulted in a hung parliament in the 59-seat Perak State Legislative Assembly, in which Pakatan won 29 seats, two short of a majority, while Barisan and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) each won 27 and 3 seats. This would mean neither of the three parties would have enough seats to form the Perak state government.[117] PAS proposed the formation of a unity government compromising of all sides in the State Legislative Assembly, but was rejected by Pakatan.[132] However, Pakatan succeeded in forming the state government after two Barisan assemblymen announced their support for Pakatan to form the state government,[133] thus ending the hung parliament status-quo. Their action resulted in the two assemblymen having their UMNO membership dropped,[134] meaning they'll have to stand as an Independent in the Perak State Legislative Assembly. Perak Pakatan chairman, Ahmad Faizal Azumu, was later sworn in as the new Menteri Besar of Perak on 12 May.[135]

On the same day, three Johor BN assemblymen announced that they have left the coalition to join PPBM. Their defection gives Pakatan a total of 39 seats, giving them a two-thirds majority in the 56-seat State Legislative Assembly.[136] Subsequently, two Independent MPs, Lubok Antu MP, Jugah Muyang, and Julau MP, Larry Sng Wei Shien, announced that they have joined PKR.[137] Jugah Muyang won in a three-cornered fight against both Barisan and PKR, while the latter was endorsed by Pakatan against Barisan Nasional.[138] A third Independent MP, Prabakaran Parameswaran, who won in the constituency of Batu, announced that he had joined PKR in the day afterwards, thus increasing Pakatan's total tally in the Dewan Rakyat to 125.[139] He was endorsed by Pakatan Harapan during the general election after the coalition's original candidate, Tian Chua, was disqualified from contesting due to a RM2,000 fine.[140] On the following day, an Independent Perak assemblyman, Zainol Fadzi Paharudin, who was one of the two Barisan assemblymen who had their UMNO membership dropped for supporting a Pakatan government, announced that he had joined PPBM,[141] His defection from Barisan to Pakatan increases the coalition's tally in the Perak State Legislative Assembly to 30 seats, enough to form a simple majority.

On 19 May, the disputed president of the People's Progressive Party (myPPP), M. Kayveas, declared that the party has left Barisan Nasional.[142] However, Kayveas' statement was denied by the party's deputy secretary-general, Simon Sabapathy, who insisted that the party was still part of the coalition and that Kayveas' announcement was invalid as he was no longer the president of the party,[143] after he was supposedly sacked by the party on April.[144] This resulted in a party leadership crisis, as the party's leadership was split between the party's former president, M. Kayveas, who's pursuing to make the party leave Barisan, and the party's current president, Maglin Dennis D'Cruz, who wants the party to remain in Barisan. Eventually, Kayveas won the struggle, and announced that myPPP has left Barisan.[142] The party would eventually be de-registered by the Registrar of Societies in January 2019, amid the leadership dispute.[145]

Nearly a month after the General Election, on 12 June, another four BN component parties, the United Bumiputera Heritage Party (PBB), the Sarawak People's Party (PRS), the Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) and the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) announced their withdrawal from Barisan Nasional and the formation of a new Sarawak-based coalition, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).[10] The four parties altogether has 19 seats in the Dewan Rakyat and 72 seats in the 82-seat Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, thus decreasing Barisan's seat tally even further. Two weeks later, on 24 June, the Malaysian People's Movement Party (Gerakan) became the latest party to leave Barisan Nasional.[146]

The election resulted in a mass defection of UMNO MPs from the party, mostly becoming independents, some eventually changing their alliance and joining PH. On 24 June, the MP of Bagan Serai, Noor Azmi Ghazali, announced his withdrawal from the coalition to become an Independent Member of Parliament, and expressed interest to join the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (PPBM), a component party of Pakatan Harapan.[147] Three days later, UMNO's Bukit Gantang MP, Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal, announced his departure from the party to also become an Independent Member of Parliament.[148] Further on 1 July, UMNO's Masjid Tanah MP, Mas Ermieyati Samsudin left the party to become an Independent Parliamentarian after disappointment with the party's election result.[149] Two more defections occurred in the month of September. UMNO's Jeli MP, Mustapa Mohamed, left the party on 18 September,[150] proceeded by UMNO's Kimanis MP, Anifah Aman,[151] the day after. On 11 October, UMNO's Labuan MP, Rozman Isli, left the party and joined Warisan, citing for the benefit of Labuan.[152] Another series of defections occurred in December. On 12 December, five Sabah UMNO MPs and nine of the state assemblypersons left the party to become independents, pledging support for Pakatan.[153] On December 14, six UMNO MPs, Hamzah Zainuddin (Larut), Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (Tanah Merah), Latiff Ahmad (Mersing), Rosol Wahid (Hulu Terengganu), Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh (Sabak Bernam) and Shahbudin Yahya (Tasik Gelugor) altogether left the party due to disappointment with UMNO's current leadership.[154] The series of defections and parties withdrawing from Barisan Nasional leaves the coalition with only three component parties, UMNO, MCA and MIC (the original three parties that formed the Alliance Party), a decrease of ten parties from the 13 they had prior to the election, and 40 seats, a substantial decrease from the 79 seats they won in the election.

Party leadership changes

After facing a defeat in the election, losing nearly a third of its seat in the Dewan Rakyat, former Prime Minister Najib Razak announced his resignation as president of UMNO and chairman of Barisan Nasional on 12 May.[155] Party deputy president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi took over the role as acting president of UMNO and chairman of Barisan Nasional, while vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein took over the duties of acting deputy president and deputy chairman of Barisan.[156] Najib's resignation resulted in a party leadership election, in which seven candidates eyed to become the party's new president. The result was that Zahid won the party leadership elections. He and former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohamad Hasan are now president and vice president of UMNO respectively.[157]


There had been many controversies even before the general election began, mostly regarding gerrymandering and the electoral boundary re-delineation in favour of the Barisan Nasional coalition. The body regulating elections in Malaysia, the Election Commission of Malaysia (which is under the control of the Prime Minister's Department), has been criticised by election watchdogs, including Bersih, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and various other organisations for electoral malpractices, arbitrary decisions and a lack of transparency.[158][159][160]


Opposition parties, non-governmental organisations and even politicians from the ruling party have accused the government of gerrymandering, manipulating the composition of electoral seats in favour of Barisan Nasional.[161] The opposition claims that the manipulation primarily involves merging opposition-dominated areas into large, single seats and dividing BN-favouring areas among several, smaller seats so as to favour rural voters who are more inclined to support the ruling party.[162] An analyst with electoral reform group Tindak Malaysia estimates that this latest redelineation process would allow Barisan Nasional to regain control with just 33% of the vote.[163]

The Electoral Integrity Project (EIP), an independent academic project based at Harvard University and the University of Sydney that studies election integrity and assigns PEI scores (Global Perceptions of Electoral Integrity) to countries across the world, had in its most recent research paper published in November 2017, ranked Malaysia's election integrity at 142nd out of 158 countries, just above Zimbabwe (143th), Vietnam (147th) and Afghanistan (150th).[164]

Polling day on midweek

Many Malaysians protested the Election Commission's decision to set the Polling Day on midweek (Wednesday, 9 May) rather than to set it on a weekend (i.e. Saturday) as it had been in the previous General Elections. Some of them, including Pakatan Harapan chairman Mahathir Mohamad,[165] PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man[166] and Bersih chairperson Maria Chin,[167] viewed such a decision to be unfair, undemocratic, and an attempt to discourage people overseas or interstate from returning to their hometowns to vote.[168] In response, Najib Razak declared Wednesday a national holiday.

Overseas ballot issues

Since the 2013 elections, overseas voting has been open to the majority of Malaysian registered voters living abroad.[169] However, registered overseas Malaysian voters were reported to have received their ballots late, some even on election day, despite the election commission requiring their ballots to be returned before the close of polling stations to be counted as valid.[170] As a result, many of these overseas voters organised on social media to bring theirs and other ballots back through casual couriers.[171][172] The Election Commission of Malaysia currently denies trying to stop overseas Malaysians to vote.

Nomination Day controversies

Controversies have erupted after six candidates for the opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan, were disqualified from running under suspicious circumstances on Nomination Day (Saturday 28 April 2018).[173] The most prominent disqualification was that of PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang, who the local returning officer prevented from defending his Batu parliamentary seat due to an earlier court conviction, despite a High Court judgement which made clear he was eligible to continue as an MP. A subsequent High Court appeal was thrown out, under the claim that they did not have jurisdiction over election-related matters.[174] Chua and his party are consequently endorsing independent candidate, 22-year-old P. Prabakaran, for the seat.[175]

Meanwhile, in Rantau, Negeri Sembilan, the state's Chief Minister Mohamad Hasan was re-elected unopposed after opposition candidate Dr. Streram Sinnasamy was prevented from entering the nomination centre, ostensibly as he did not have an entry pass, despite his claim that he was never issued one and despite the fact that there are no laws requiring candidates to have entry passes.[176] Four other opposition candidates were barred for being undischarged bankrupts, despite claims that earlier checks with the authorities had confirmed their ability to participate.[173]

Lawyers and other political analysts have criticised these returning officers for a "gross abuse of power" that went beyond their primary role (to assist with filing nomination papers) and deprived several candidates of the chance to exercise their democratic right. They claim that incidents like this contribute to the perception that Malaysian elections are inherently unfair and weaken the rule of law.[177] Pakatan Harapan chairman Mahathir Mohamad has confirmed that he will appeal these decisions to the courts, alleging an "abuse of power" by "officers who are willing to do illegal things on orders".[178]

Alleged vote-buying

The ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, has faced criticism for alleged vote-buying. The Nikkei Asian Review has noted that measures like cash bonuses being handed out to civil servants and pensioners, key components of its support base, occurred just before the dissolution of the lower house of Parliament,[179] with other measures announced during the campaign trail including "special aid" of RM500 (US$127) and reserved social housing units for employees of government-linked company DRB-HICOM[180] as well as minimum wage increases.[181]

Within constituencies, Barisan Nasional MPs have come under significant criticism from electoral watchdog Bersih, with seven out of ten individuals named in their "Election Offenses Hall of Shame" being from Barisan Nasional component parties. Musa Aman, Noh Omar, Hamzah Zainudin and Shahanim Mohd Yusuf (BN-UMNO) as well as P. Kamalanathan and Jaspal Singh (BN-MIC) were publicly reprimanded for handing out free food, petrol, furniture, groceries and motorcycles in their respective constituencies, in what was widely seen as an attempt to sway the vote in favour of them.[182]

Controversy has also erupted over Barisan Nasional's battle for the Sekinchan constituency, considered a marginal seat held by opposition party DAP, where an election event organised by Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos (the UMNO chief for Sungai Besar) in support of local candidate Lee Yee Yuan (BN-MCA) included an all-you-can-eat buffet, chances to win a motorcycle and a RM25,000 (US$6,345) cash prize, as well as a promise of a RM2,000 (US$508) payment for every voter if they are elected.[183] All payments, along with a claimed RM150,000 in donations and a Mercedes-Benz C200 to be offered at the next event, were claimed to have been donated by "successful businessmen" in the small fishing village (population: 20,000) who wanted to show their "gratitude" to BN.[184] While Yunos denies any wrongdoing, claiming that he is not a candidate but is "only conveying contributions from certain individuals," the Sekinchan DAP branch has lodged a police report against him for alleged vote-buying.[185]

Yunos has also faced controversy for being caught on video handing out RM50 (US$13) notes from a bag at a function in the Sungai Leman Bendang Utara village, which is also part of Sekinchan. He has claimed that those being paid were "party workers" responsible for "putting up flags, buntings and other materials," a claim that media were unable to independently verify. Media outlet Malaysiakini noted that most of those being paid were not dressed in Barisan Nasional colours, and that significant numbers of senior citizens and children were present at the event.[186]

The main opposition alliance, Pakatan Harapan, has also not been immune to allegations of vote-buying. Pakatan Harapan's manifesto, particularly, lists as a key promise the abolition of Malaysia's 6% GST and increasing minimum wages, which journalists and financial analysts claim amounts to pork-barrel populism that could negatively affect Malaysian government finances.[179][187] Bersih also included Afif Bahardin (PH-PKR) on their Election Offenses Hall of Shame for utilising Penang state government programmes to give handouts such as hampers to voters in his constituency of Seberang Jaya.[188]

Additionally, Ahmad Yakob, the Menteri Besar of Kelantan, was singled out for criticism after "repeatedly using Kelantan state government resources" to benefit the campaign of his party, PAS (competing as the main component of the Gagasan Sejahtera coalition), including by handing out cash to religious leaders in a state government hall covered in PAS flags.[182]

Release of results

On polling night, the announcement of results took longer than usual, as it was alleged that the Election Commission officers were delaying their signing of Form 14 for announcing the results. This was later revealed in an interview between Mahathir and The Mekong Review, where he revealed that there were attempts to get winning PH candidates to cross over to BN and PAS, fearing that PH "were not going to respect the position of Islam as much as the previous government had". He added that they had already won as early as 8.30 pm but did not receive the official announcement until 2 AM.[189]

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