The Final Countdown (written by guest blogger HH Chen)

The Final Countdown

Malaysia 14th General Election on 9 May 2018


By HH Chen - 29 April 2018

The coming Malaysia General Election on 9 May 2018 has been the hottest topic of discussion on both social and print media in the country since the dissolution of parliament. This election is being seen as the closest contest between the ruling coalitionBarisan Nasional (BN) and the opposition front PakatanHarapan (PH).

BN has been ruling the country since the independence of Malaysia from British in 1957. Over the past 13 general elections or 60 years, none of the opposition parties or coalitionscould threaten the position of BN at national level to form federal government.

However, for the first time in the history of Malaysia, PH led by the former Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir has managed to realign and strengthen the opposition parties within PH, and will be contesting in the election under one flag that has never happened in the past.




The surge of PH isprimarily due to the controversial 1MDB scandal and the leadership of the charismatic Dr Mahathir who has penetrated Malay settlements in the rural areas of the country. Overall in the urbans, the wind for change is strong and theDemocratic Action Party (DAP) estimates that 80% of the Chinese votes will sway toward PH. For the Malay votes, PH component Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (BERSATU) and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) are confident that Malay Tsunami for change is in its formation.




On the other side, BN component parties that have strong grass roots grown over the last few decades will go all out to defend their seats and ensure they will capture at least 112 of the total 222 parliament seats to form a simple-majority Government. It is reported that the 14th General Election will be on the advantage of BN because Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) is contesting in 160 parliament seats which is believed it will split PH’s votes.

In short, it is going to be a fierce competition between the two camps but ultimately the voters are the decision makers whether they optfor status quo and the continuation of current policies under BN or they want a change to improve current policies and hope for transformation under PH. The Malaysian voters are at the crossroad now because this is the best time or probably the last chance where Malaysian can decide for a change of government as quoted by PH leaders. However, this is the voters’ call and most of them have already made up their mind by now, and prepared for the D-Day!





For voters in Malaysia, we are ready to cast our votes on 9 May 2018. How about you if you are a Malaysian working or studying abroad?  Are you going to forego your right to vote or this does not matter to you?  How about those who have already migrated to other country or those holding PR of other country? Does general election in Malaysia matter to you anymore since you have already “escape” from the country?

I think you must ask yourself why you left Malaysia in the first place? Why the country you have migrated to is better than your home country, Malaysia?

To me, it is very helpful for Malaysian residing overseas or those who have migrated to other country to know what is happening in Malaysia.  For those stay outside Malaysia who have broader view of globalization will be able to assess the political scene in Malaysia better compared to a Malaysian who has never experienced the outside world!

Even for those who have already migrated, the general election in Malaysia matters to you because you might have friends and relatives in Malaysia or probably your source of income is still derived from Malaysia. Hence, it makes sense for you to share your experience living overseas with your friends and relatives in Malaysia so they can make wise decision when casting their votes. Ultimately, we want every Malaysian to take charge of their future through their votes.

Lastly, let me share with you what I had observed in China in the past few years. Many professionals and upper-class citizens of Hong Kong left the island when the territory was returned to China by the British Government in 1990s. It was also the phenomenon in Mainland China that migration would be a dream especially for the professionals or students studying abroad.

In the last two international companies that I had worked for, it surprised me that our offices in China hired quite a number of Chinese holding Canada, USA and New Zealand passport! Why they wanted to return to China and why the companies wanted to hire them as expatriate in China? The reason why they returned to China is because now China can pay higher than what the returnees earn overseas. The reason why the company wanted to hire Chinese expatriates is because they need someone who can understand the local culture (speaks mandarin) but with global mindset. 

From my experience above, although you have already migrated to other country, you might still be benefited if Malaysia has advanced further to a more competitive nation whereby talents with global exposure are needed to bring Malaysia to the next level…!