Rethinking Consociationalism and Coalition Politics in Malaysia


  • Abdulwahed Jalal Nori International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)



Consociational Democracy, Rethinking, Integration & Unity, Cohesiveness, Craft


National unity and integration are among the most critical problems that we have faced and continue to face in Malaysia. The central concern is not the differences that exist in societies per se but the nature of the relationships among people characterised by distinct ethnicities, religions and socioeconomic classes and multiple identities, living within the nation. These relationships range from harmonious and functional to acrimonious and dysfunctional. In general, legal approaches are commonly used in order to regulate the behaviour of groups towards each other.  Many countries have constitutional provisions or enact national laws and regulations that provide for equality and non-discrimination or to protect the rights of certain groups. Various other measures are also taken. While necessary, legal approaches are limited in what they can achieve. They define some of the boundaries that may not be crossed but do not remove negative worldviews, attitudes and beliefs that motivate hatred animosity and unfriendly actions among groups. Could it be said that national unity and integration means the creation of a mental state and elimination in which everyone will place "national interest well above communal, religious, linguistic or local interests". This is only possible when each group feels that they will get a square deal and have no fear of domination by others. Such a mental climate could be seen to prevail when intolerance, fear and inferiority complex are minimised or eliminated. Creating such a mental climate also largely depends on the relationships among and behaviour of the political leaders in the society. Therefore, it is important to start examine and analyse (1) The current state of play – what are we doing right and wrong?; (2) What do we want to see in an integrated and united Malaysia?; and (3) How do we craft a Malaysian ethos of unity and cohesiveness?

Author Biography

Abdulwahed Jalal Nori, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)

Assistant Professor, Department of Fundamental & Inter-Disciplinary Studies, Abdulhamid Abusulayman Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia


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How to Cite

Abdulwahed Jalal Nori. (2022). Rethinking Consociationalism and Coalition Politics in Malaysia. Journal of Islam in Asia (E-ISSN 2289-8077), 19(2), 295–315.



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