Over the weekend, Malaysia was plunged into political uncertainty as politicians and parties tried to manoeuvre and out-manoeuvre one another. Mahathir Mohamad has resigned as prime minister—although he’s still serving as the interim prime minister at the moment—and plenty of horse-trading is going on as Malaysians wait to find out who will emerge victorious. (For a recap, check out our explainer.)

But the turmoil of the past weekend isn’t just about party statements and parliamentary seats; it also has an impact on the Malaysian people and the hopes that many had for a “new Malaysia”. New Naratif asked five artists to help make sense of the situation.

Members only

Log in or

Join New Naratif as a member to continue reading


We are independent, ad-free and pro-democracy. Our operations are member-funded. Membership starts from just US$5/month! Alternatively, write to sponsorship@newnaratif.com to request a free sponsored membership. As a member, you are supporting fair payment of freelancers, and a movement for democracy and transnational community building in Southeast Asia.

Fahmi Reza

Fahmi Reza is a political graphic designer based in Kuala Lumpur. He has been arrested, charged, banned and sentenced to jail for his design work. He tweets at twitter.com/kuasasiswa

Kedung Ballang Kapong

Kedung Ballang Kapong, or Keds, is a Malaysian visual artist and muralist based in Kuching, Sarawak hailing from the Bario Highlands. She is a member of the Sarawakian multi-discipline arts collective 9Lives Borneo. Currently working as a digital content producer, she combines her interests in culture, music, empowerment, and tattoos through illustrations and stories in the description for added visualizations. Contact her at kedungbk.art@gmail.com and find more of her at on Instagram at @kedsss

Max Loh

Max Loh is an as-and-when comic artist who flits between Malaysia and Singapore. He enjoys whittling at complex issues with words and images, stringing them together with emotions. While on his journey to find the ideal middle ground of practicality and passion, he'll gladly stuff his face with all the food he can get his hands on. Reach him at jlloh86@gmail.com.

Sonia Luhong Wan

Currently engaged in the field of renewable energy, Sarawak-born Sonia Luhong Wan is a self-taught artist who believes in art as a powerful medium for education and awareness. @sonialuhong is where she rambles on Instagram.