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Malaysia in transition

Malaysia's power game intensifies as general election nears

Outlook murky as ruling UMNO divided over timing of vote

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob waves from a car, as he leaves after the inauguration ceremony, in Kuala Lumpur last August. The leader is cautious about holding his country's next general election too early.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Political tensions are mounting in Southeast Asia as the region braces for a wave of elections over the next couple of years.

A presidential poll in the Philippines on May 9 marked the beginning of this potentially stormy period, and is soon to be followed by lower house elections in Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia by 2023. Myanmar's military government is eager to hold a fresh general election in August 2023, while Indonesian voters will choose a new president the following February.

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