The Impact Of Single Party Dominance On Malaysia And Singapore 's Political System

1436 Words Oct 10th, 2016 6 Pages
Authoritarianism Disguised as Asian Democracy:
The Effect of Single Party Dominance on Malaysia and Singapore’s Political System
In our current political landscape, most democracies achieve political legitimacy from a popular belief in an effective government. This relationship between legitimacy and democracy lies in the acknowledgement of key democratic features like representative elections, a multi-party system, citizen rule, limitations on lawmakers, respect for minority rights, etc. However, in today’s international political structure, not all “democratic” nations necessarily adhere to these features. Two self-proclaimed “democratic” nations—Malaysia and Singapore both lack such defining characteristics but yet are still internationally recognized as democracies. In reality, single party dominance in UMNO-led Malaysia and PAP-led Singapore openly disregards defining democratic traits like representative elections and respect for organized oppositional presence—leading both regimes to be more soft authoritarian in nature rather than democratic.
Malaysia’s political system is defined by the relationship between the leading coalition, known collectively as Barisan National (BN) and auxiliary opposition parties. At the center of the coalition that has dominated Malaysia’s politics is the United Malays National Organization (UMNO)—Malaysia’s primary political party created to protect and promote ethnic Malay interests while ensuring the presence of ethnic Malay culture in…

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