Asian Insider

Malaysia’s poll results signal a hardening of the ethnic divide

Many academics and analysts have noted the deep ethnic polarisation in terms of coalition preference. PHOTO: REUTERS
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SINGAPORE - Three-term Pakatan Harapan (PH) MP Nurul Izzah Anwar had her first taste of electoral defeat when she turned 42 on Nov 19.

No one saw it coming. Permatang Pauh, the seat in Penang that she was defending, did not make it to any “hot seats to watch” or “too close to call” lists in news articles or analysts’ reports. It is, after all, Ms Izzah’s family’s legacy seat, one that her father Anwar Ibrahim first captured in 1982 with a vote share of 75 per cent on Barisan Nasional’s (BN) ticket. 

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