11 月 19 日在多民族和多宗教的马来西亚举行的大选导致议会出现悬浮议会，没有任何政党或联盟获得多数席位来组建政府。
安华易卜拉欣的多种族希望联盟集团赢得了最多的议会席位，82 个，国盟紧随其后，获得 73 个席位。
“但还没有到那种程度，”来自马来西亚诺丁汉大学的布里奇特威尔士告诉贝纳尔新闻，指的是国民联盟夺得的 70 多个席位。
政治观察家曾预测，对围绕巫统主席艾哈迈德扎希德哈米迪的腐败指控以及前总理纳吉布拉扎克与 1MDB 金融丑闻有关的定罪感到不满的马来人很可能会转向国盟。
“[Using] 种族的 [sentiments} as a narrative was on both sides, particularly DAP as well as PAS and Perikatan. But I think PAS and Perikatan used this as one of their core strategies,” Welsh said.
The Democratic Action Party (DAP), is a constituent of Anwar’s Pakatan and largely ethnic Chinese. Some people in the country’s Malay majority distrust DAP, which they see as putting the interests of Malaysian Chinese front and center, to the detriment of Malays.
“We saw the repeated demonization of DAP which began well before and especially after 2019. And that was the proxy to demonize the Chinese. .. .There were events in which there were comments made by Muhyiddin Yassin about Christians and Jews at the end of the campaign,” Welsh added.
In the days leading up to the election, local media reported that Muhyiddin accused Pakatan of a Christianization agenda for Malaysia. Muhyiddin later said he was quoted out of context while commenting on a video he had seen.
One video that went viral, showed a PAS leader allegedly saying that those who voted for Pakatan would go to hell.
Analyst Tunku Mohar Mokhtar, of the International Islamic University of Malaysia, was scathing in his criticism of Muhyiddin, when he spoke to BenarNews before the election.
“He is right-wing, and is not tolerant of other ethnic groups,” Tunku Mohar said.
The recent polls also saw the extensive use of social media to disseminate hate speech, with young people seen spouting far right rhetoric. The origin of these videos was not known.
According to a local not-for-profit journalism initiative, PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang was “one of the key amplifiers of divisive, racist, intolerant and hate-based narratives,” the Malay Mail newspaper reported on Nov. 17.
The social media monitoring initiative undertaken by the Centre for Independent Journalism said that Hadi and PAS had accused rivals DAP of being communists, citing their alleged atheism and “promotion” of LGBTQs.
Munira Mustaffa, executive director of the Chasseur Group, a consulting specializing in security challenges, said voters in Malaysia had become bolder in expressing their extreme views.
“The issues and grievances highlighted during the election trails were not novel. This time, however, the reactionary right has become more emboldened,” she told BenarNews.
“We are only realizing it now because political players are becoming increasingly adept at leveraging technology and social media to enhance their campaign trails and political messaging.”
PAS makes a mark
A striking feature of Perikatan’s success was the number of seats that PAS was able to win, both when contesting by itself and under the Perikatan logo. Estimates vary slightly, but PAS says it won 49 seats, the most seats won by a single party.
According to the two analysts, PAS’s large number of wins were due to its alliance with the more organized and strategic Perikatan, and not because of support for a more conservative agenda.
“One cannot equate this [winning more seats] 以支持大规模的保守 PAS 议程，”分析师威尔士说。
但其他人认为这次选举标志着 PAS 的崛起。
为 BenarNews 撰稿，分析师 扎卡里·阿布扎 说 PAS 已经从一个在农村和保守的东北部拥有权力基础的政党变成了一个全国性政党。