Journal of Social Sciences

Election in Malaysia and Indigenization of Democracy

Kartini Aboo Talib @ Khalid, Shamsul A.B and Suraiya Ishak

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2018.181.191

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 14, 2018

Pages 181-191


Election and democracy have coexisted but the Western interpretations of democracy though dominant, yet contestable. In a democracy, election serves as a tool to elect representatives. Election is held regularly to avoid power absolutism. However, democracy is conceived differently due to history, society and local contexts. In Malaysia, democracy and elections were introduced during the undemocratic colonial period in the absence of political parties, homogenous social structure and economic prosperity. This paper argues that the introduction of democracy during the colonial era left Malaysia with its unique form of democracy and the understanding of election. The findings conclude that the indigenization of democracy including the local context, colonial knowledge and inheritance, culture and norms resulted in projecting a different form of democracy. This study utilizes secondary data through process tracing of historical facts and contemporary realities to debate the issues.


© 2018 Kartini Aboo Talib @ Khalid, Shamsul A.B and Suraiya Ishak. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.