Dr. Ratna Rueban Balasubramaniam is an Associate Professor of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University, Canada, specializing in legal philosophy as applied to so-called hybrid semi-authoritarian regimes.
The COVID-19 pandemic occasioned a de facto worldwide state of exception. In Malaysia, the beginning of the pandemic would coincide with political turmoil. In 2018, a democratic reformist government surprisingly rose to power after unexpectedly winning the general election. The victory ended six decades of ethnocratic and authoritarian rule under the United Malay National Organization (“UMNO”), a Malay nationalist party committed to a political doctrine of ethnic “Malay Dominance.” However, in March 2020, just as the WHO declared a global pandemic, a series of political machinations brought down the reformist government. Continue reading >>
Two simultaneous narratives are unfolding as Malaysia responds to Covid-19. The first is the specific character of the ongoing legal response. The second is salient backdrop to any evaluation of this legal response that Malaysia is in political turmoil. Continue reading >>