Skip to main content /TECH

Election Watch

Malaysia Parliamentary November 29, 1999
At stake in this election:
  • Seats in the House of Representatives: 193
Description of government structure:
  • Malaysia’s bicameral Parliament is composed of a 69 member non-elected Senate (Dewan Negara) and a popularly elected House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) with 193 seats.
Description of electoral system:
  • The Senate consists of 69 members, 43 of whom are appointed by the Paramount Ruler, and 26 of whom are appointed by the state legislatures. Senate members hold three-year terms.
  • The House of Representatives consists of 193 members elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms. (The popular vote is weighted toward the Malay population)
  • The Paramount Ruler is elected by and from the hereditary rulers of nine of the states for a five-year term.
  • The Prime Minister is designated by the King from within the House of Representatives.
Results of the electoral races:
  • Party Bloc: Barisan Nasional (BN)
    Leader: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. MAHATHIR bin Mohamad
    Seats won in last election: 162
    Seats won in this election: 148

    Party Bloc: Alternative Front (Barisan Alternatif) – Including the Following Parties:

  • Party: National Justice Party
    Leader: Datin Seri Dr. Wan Azizah binti Wan Ismail
    Seats won in the last election: N/A
    Seats won in this election: 5

  • Party: Democratic Action Party
    Leader: LIM Kit Siang
    Seats won in the last election: 9
    Seats won in this election: 10

  • Party: Pan Malaysian Islamic Party
    Leader: Ustaz Seri Dato Fadzil Mohamed NOOR
    Seats won in the last election: 7
    Seats won in this election: 27

  • Party: Bersatu Sabah (PBS)
    Leader: Dato’ Joseph Pairin Kittingan
    Seats won in last election: 8
    Seats won in this election: 3
When was the last election? Number of seats in last election?
  • Parliamentary elections last held: April 25, 1995
Population and number of registered voters:
  • Population: 22,200,000 (1998)
  • Number of registered voters: 9,700,000 (January 1999)
Of Interest:
  • This is the first general election since Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad dismissed the former finance minister Anwar Ibrahim and imposed capital controls. Anwar’s dismissal and subsequent jailing sparked unprecedented government protests, which Mahathir claimed were engineered by his former deputy to topple his government.
  • The Barisan Nasional (BN) has dominated the House of Representatives since Malayasian Independence from Britain in 1957.
  • Anwar Ibrahim is the galvanizing force behind the opposition that has never controlled more than one-third the seats in the house of representatives - the necessary number to veto a constitutional amendment.
  • Anwar Ibrahim’s wife, Azizah Ismail, now heads the National Justice Party, a member of the Alternative Front Bloc. This party’s main platform is to impose a just and democratic administration and to end corruption and institute a rule of law in Malaysia.
For additional information: IFES ElectionGuide Online


Back to the top