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Conflict management in Barisan Nasional

Sakdan, Mohd Fo'ad and Abdul Ghani, Ahmad Bashawir (2011) Conflict management in Barisan Nasional. Southeast Asian Journal of Social and Political Issues, 1 (1). pp. 25-36. ISSN 2088-2955

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The aim of this paper is to examine about managing conflict in the BN (Barisan Nasional).The core of the study focuses on the conflict ethnic during the seat allocation process in elections and the allocation of cabinet posts at federal government level.To elaborate on these two focal points, five main objectives aimed at uncovering the contributing factors to the BN’s stability and solidarity to continue ruling a multiethnic society. A total of 28 political figures in the BN and two from opponent parties were identified as interviewees.Results of this study revealed that the BN employed its own, unique approach in handling conflicts.Firstly, Power- sharing shows that the BN applies a formula for seat allocation using three stringent processes to ensure that each of its components receives a fair allocation of seats commensurate with the performance and strength of the party.For the allocation of cabinet and Exco posts, each party is provided with the opportunity and position to hold the post, so that each component party would have an avenue of participation in the development of policies and direction of the national administration.Secondly, the principles practised within the BN, which includes decision-making procedures, the representativeness and confidentiality of discussions on seat allocation and Cabinet post allocation, are confined only to the main elite groups of the component parties. The involvement and knowledge of other party members, especially those at branch and divisional levels, are extremely limited and restricted in these areas.Thirdly, in the process of allocating seats and Cabinet posts, some bargaining inevitably takes place, usually by two parties, namely a component party of the BN and an NGO. There are four factors contributing to this bargaining.The scope of this bargaining also involves four areas.Fourthly, the management of conflict in seat and Cabinet post allocations demonstrates that the BN continuously faces various challenges from time to time.Seven different challenges are outlined, and these often pose as elements that threaten the strength and stability of the BN.The control of these elements is important in ensuring that the BN continues to be sound and stable, whilst failure would put the BN in a quagmire of difficulties in continuing to defend its power.Finally to manage the conflict on seat and Cabinet post allocations, the BN also practises five approaches in managing these conflicts.The study findings provide a comprehensive documentation of the techniques applied by the BN in managing conflicts, and it is hoped that it would describe to the public how each party played its role in maintaining political stability whilst serving as guidelines to countries facing interethnic conflict.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethnic conflict, Barisan Nasional (BN), Compromise, Collaboration, Competition, Avoidance and Accommodation.
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Divisions: College of Law, Government and International Studies
Depositing User: Dr. Ahmad Bashawir Haji Abdul Ghani
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2014 02:15
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2014 02:15
URI: http://repo.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/10784

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