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Malaysia election

TikTok-mad Malaysian voters push Islamic politics to the fore

Emergence of Malaysian Islamic Party set to shake up country's secular democracy

Hadi Awang, right, president of the burgeoning Malaysian Islamic Party, envisions to govern Malaysia based on Islamic principles by 2051. (Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images)

KUALA LUMPUR -- Never before in Malaysia has a small local party exerted such influence upon a federal election, in this instance bringing about a stalemate after Saturday's national polls.

The Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS as it is abbreviated in Malay, was not previously a key player in the country's race-based politics, although it had enjoyed some electoral success in rural Malay states in the east of the peninsular.

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