Parliamentary Chamber: Dewan Rakyat


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  Dewan Rakyat

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  29 November 1999

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats following the dissolution of Parliament on 11 November 1999. General elections had previously been held in April 1995.

Background and outcome of elections:

  The legislative elections of 29 November 1999 were convened in advance, the pretext being the start of Ramadan, the Moslem feast. As the outgoing Parliament was dissolved on 11 November, the campaign was very short drawing strong criticism from the opposition. This was not the opposition's only complaint. Indeed, the short campaign was marked by the distribution in villages of pornographic videocassettes implicating former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar, charged with sodomy and corruption, as well as by the opposition's lack of access to written and audiovisual media.

The elections enabled the Malaysian opposition to double the number of its seats in the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) to 45 from 23. The mainly Chinese Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the Keadilan National Justice Party (PKN) of Mrs. Waz Azizah, the wife of Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, won ten and five seats, respectively. The big opposition winner was the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), which went from 7 to 27 seats and gained a majority in two Assemblies in the northern States of Kelantan and Trangganu, rich in oil and energy resources. As for the National Front governmental coalition of Prime Minister Mohathir Mohamad, in power for the past 18 years, it however scored a two-thirds majority with 148 seats (despite losing 14 seats) thereby entitling it to re-elect the Head of Government to a five-year term. Nevertheless, the National Front lost power in two of the thirteen States of the Federation of Malaysia and four members of Mr. Mahathir's Cabinet lost their seats.

Round no 1 (29 November 1999): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 9 700 000

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
National Front (BN) 148
Alternative Front 42
Others 3

  The Alternative Front is composed of:
  • Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS)
  • Democratic Action Party (DAP)
  • National Justice Party
  • Distribution of seats according to sex:  
    Men: 179
    Women: 14
    Percent of women: 7.25 %

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    Copyright � 1999 Inter-Parliamentary Union