The central argument in this volume of 27 essays on Malaysian politics and society, is that there exists a conflict between the BN’s Old Politics which is essentially ethnic-based and characterised by money politics, coercive laws and other restrictions, and New Politics which demands more democratic participation and social justice, accountability and transparency, and is more multi-ethnic in orientation.
The NGOs, new media, Reformasi and the results of the 2008 general elections mark the arrival of this New Politics. Between the Old and the New lies a Politics of Developmentalism which also helps to explain why many people continue to support the BN. But developmentalism also underscores the relatively non-violent transition to a two-coalition political system in Malaysia.
Francis Loh Kok Wah is professor of politics in Universiti Sains Malaysia (Penang) and secretary of Aliran. He has published several books on Malaysian politics and writes regularly for Aliran Monthly where most of the essays were first published.
Old vs New Politics in Malaysia: State and Society in Transition is available from Aliran, 103 Medan Penaga, 11600 Jelutong, Penang, Malaysia
Price including postage: RM38.
Cheques etc to be made payable to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara