Sabah state election primer: Borneo goes to polls

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With elections called for 26 September, Sabahans will decide their state government in competitive polls. Over 10 political parties, scores of independent candidates and different varieties of political ‘frogs’ will square off in 73 different seats to win over the 1.1 million voters. At stake is not only the fate of the leadership of Sabah, but the first competitive election for the national government led by Muhyiddin Yassin.

Three experts with on-the-ground field experience discuss the context, contests and contentious issues. This University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute-Malaysia Seminar discusses how Sabah is unique and the need to rethink paradigms to understand the complex and different drivers shaping Borneo politics.

Presenters

  • Dr Bridget Welsh, an honorary research associate with the University of Nottingham Malaysia’s Asia Research Institute, specialises in South East Asian politics, with a focus on Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Indonesia. An author and editor of numerous books, reports and articles, she examines electoral behaviour, democracy and socio-political transformations in the region
  • Dr Villashini Somiah, a lecturer of gender studies with the University of Malaya, is a Sabahan anthropologist who received her PhD from the National University of Singapore. Her work focuses on under-represented narratives of women, youth, migrants and marginalised Borneans living in the interior
  • Sabahan Philip Golingai is a news editor with the Star Media Group. He writes two columns, One Man’s Meat on Wednesdays for The Star Online and It’s Just Politics for The Star on Sundays
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