Thursday, May 19, 2022

A definitive guide to elections in Malaysia

Secara Rawak



  • Tan Sri Ab Rashid Ab Rahman, former Chairman of the Election Commission of Malaysia and the Special Committee on the Improvement of the Electoral System and Law (ERC).
  • Dr G Manimaran, media practitioner and former permanent member of the ERC.

Publisher: Universiti Malaya Press

Year of publication: 2021

Number of pages: 806

Do you:

WANT to get complete information about the election process in Malaysia?

NEED data and statistics on the results of past elections including the 14th General Elections (GE-14) and Sarawak State Elections (PRN) 2016?

INTEND to prepare for or participate in the forthcoming GE-15 and the 12th Sarawak PRN?

If so, you need to read this book.

“Pilihan Raya Demokrasi Malaysia: Tanding, Pilih, Menang, Tadbir” (Democratic Elections in Malaysia: Contest, Vote, Win, Govern” is a comprehensive guide for every stakeholder ranging from the layperson to the politician, who are the determinants of their elected representatives.

Published by the Universiti Malaya Press, this 806-page publication which can either be purchased physically or online, provides comprehensive information on the principles behind the democratic electoral system in Malaysia. Such detailed description is relevant to every citizen, be they voters, members of political parties, candidates or agencies involved in election management.

The book is the culmination of the extensive election management experience of two personalities namely Tan Sri Ab Rashid Ab Rahman, former Chairman of the Election Commission and the Electoral Reform Committee (ERC), and Dr G Manimaran, media consultant and former Permanent Members of the ERC.

In tandem with the development of electoral systems and laws, the electoral process and competition are correspondingly increasingly complex. Elections today are no longer confined to the nomination process, campaigning and polling day. They also involve the voter registration process, constituency delimitation, campaign-related conditions, vote counting procedures, declaration of results, including under various circumstances, petitions and by-elections.

Presently, election management encompasses some 30 different processes, all of which are encapsulated in this book. Starting from the first important step in the process towards becoming an elected representative — filling in the nomination form and the procedures involved on nomination day, the book reveals how candidates can and should appoint their agents, how votes are counted, and the ensuing processes involved.

For those who wants to know more about their rights and responsibilities as voters, how the voting process is carried out and managed, and the roles and responsibilities of elected representatives, these information are contained in the book, which has been described by as a collection “packed with facts, information and knowledge on various matters related to democratic elections in Malaysia,” by University of Malaya Center for the Study of Democracy and Elections (UMCEDEL) socio-political analyst, Associate Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi.

“This book should be in the hands of every citizen as an enlightener… It is not only useful for politicians, especially the candidates who will contest, but also for the public who want to nurture the spirit of democracy and use the election as an opportunity to produce credible elected representatives,” Dr Awang Azman said in his commentary on the book.

In-depth knowledge of the intricacies of elections is not only a right and needs to be known by the candidates, but also should be appreciated by those citizens who make up more than 15 million voters. This number is projected to increase to over 20 million when the Vote 18 policy is implemented.

Elections are a very important component in a democracy like Malaysia. Therefore, the availability and accessibility of reference materials related to the democratic electoral process is very important.

The book furnishes data on voters and results involving 222 Parliamentary seats and 600 State Assembly seats. It presents important data and relevant facts since the first GE of 1959 in the form of a chronology from 1955 to 2021, including interesting trivia and a list of the full results of GE-14 as a reference for the upcoming GE-15 and Sarawak state election, and ongoing Melaka state election.

The publication comprises 15 chapters covering a description of the Government and Elections, Electoral System and Process, Laws and Regulations, Nomination of Candidates, Register of Voters, Election Campaigns, Voting and Counting of Votes, After Elections and Election Petitions. A chapter is devoted to developments since after the GE-14, including a list of by-election results and information on the alignment of seats, and changes in the central government and six state governments. The final chapter explores the need to strengthen the electoral system and laws so that they appear relevant to current developments.

In his review of this book, Malaysian Press Institute Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Dr Chamil Wariya profers that it is an important document that records the pulse of the election journey.

It is hoped that this book will guide every Malaysian – political parties, candidates, voters, party workers, election officers, students etc – in nurturing a democratic electoral system – from the arena of competition to the phase of governing the country.

Note: For more information on this book can contact the author at email or

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