Islamic Influence in Malaysian Politics

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Since gaining her independence in 1957, Islam was declared the national religion of Malaysia. However religion has little influence in shaping the minds and political wills of Malays especially when it comes to choose their political representatives in elections. Even though there was an Islamic based political party (PAS) in every election since 1959, Malays have prefered the Malay nationalist party (UMNO). Exemptions however should be given to two states, Kelantan and Terengganu. The Malays in both states which pictured as a most religious people have chose PAS in elections. Kelantan was governed by the party since 1959 to 1978, than again in 1990 until to date while the Terengganu Malays have voted PAS in 1959 and 1999. The rest of the states have never give chance to this Islamic based party. Questions arose especially on factors that responsible for this situation. Therefore this presentation will focus on reasons for the Malays in Kelantan and Terengganu to choose PAS in those elections. This paper will also discuss on the Malays in Johor (for example) for their undivided loyalty to UMNO as comparative to Kelantan and Terengganu.


Keywords: Malaysian History, Malaysian Politics, Religion
Stream: History, Historiography
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Azmah Abdul Manaf

Lecturer, Schools of Distance Education, University Sains Malaysia
Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

I am graduated for my first degree in 1987 from University Sains Malaysia, majoring in history. Than my study continued at the same university and was graduated in 1992 for Master Degree by research in Malaysian history. I have been teaching history to undergraduate students since 1994. My focus was on Malaysian political and social history. I have published two articles and two books on the same topics. I went to Darwin Australia in 2002 for my PhD and now waiting for the outcome of my thesis examination. My PhD research is on Malaysian politics which focused on the state of Terengganu. Currently I was granted two research grants which focus on Malays economic condition in 1950s and 1960s and on preserving historical monuments in Malaysia using ICT.

Ref: H08P0150