Sunday, March 09, 2008

Malaysia General Election 2008

Malaysians...that include my beloved spouse and I, went to the polls yesterday - March 8, 2008! It was Malaysia's 12th General Election. And, its people have decided.

As the results trickled in, ever so slowly over the TV and radio including the internet last night, we were shocked into disbelief. The winds of change was blowing amazingly strong, whereby we saw mounting number of wins by the 3 major Opposition parties (PKR, DAP and PAS) and by the time we called the night at 2.30am next morning, three States namely Kelantan, Kedah and Penang fell into Opposition's hands. Incredible! Unbelievable!

4 hours later when we awoke to surf the internet for the latest results, we further observed another 2 States - Selangor and Perak captured by the Opposition coalition.

Briefly, these are the final results:
  • Opposition won Kedah (22 state seats out of 36), Penang (29/40), Perak (31/59), Selangor ((36/56) and Kelantan ((39/45). Negri Sembilan was a very close call with the Opposition having wrestled 15 state seats out of a total of 36!
  • Barisan Nasional (BN) failed to win two-thirds of parliamentary seats. The coliation only managed to obtain 140 parliamentary seats of the total 222-seat parliament, as opposed to the 199 they won in 2004.
  • PKR, DAP and PAS won 31, 28 and 23 parliamentary seats respectively, as opposed to 1, 12 and 7 respectively won in 2004. Of course BN will form the next Government with a simple majority, but with a much stronger Opposition with an overwhelming increase, now 82 parliamentarians altogether.
  • PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and DPM Najib Tun Razak retained their seats.
  • Dr. Koh Tsu Koon (Penang's Chief Minister and Acting Gerakan President) lost in the Batu Kawan parliamentary seat. His party only managed to retain 2 parliamentary seats
  • Senior ministers like S. Samy Vellu (MIC President), Shahrizat Abdul Jalik and Zainuddin Maidin lost their seats.
  • Ong Ka Ting, MCA's President retained his seat. But MCA on the whole, lost heavily, being defeated in 25 0f 40 parliamentary seats and 59 of 90 state seats contested
  • Newbies like Khairy Jamaluddin and Mukhriz Mahathir of BN, and Nurul Izzah, Hannah Yeoh, Jeff Ooi, Tony Pua, Charles Santiago, Gobind Singh, Loh Gwo Burne, Elizabeth Wong of the Opposition Front won.
What a devastating blow to the ruling BN coalition - it suffered its greatest defeat in its history and the worst-ever election performance, losing its two-thirds majority in parliament for the first time since 1969 and conceding four more States to the Opposition coalition, besides Kelantan.

Malaysia is in shock! Far beyond expectations! Winners and losers alike are astonished! Even simple folks like us are stunned! What an unprecedented outcome! What an unmatched swing of votes!

Haha...many have likened the strong Opposition win as a political tsunami and many are celebrating! They're hoping (we too) to an end to high inflation, rising crime, corruption and mounting ethnic tensions. Malaysians are hoping for a better Malaysia, where its riches are shared by all, irrespective of color, race, or creed, and that good governance, democracy, accountability and transparency prevail.

Will these hopes and expectations evolve? Will the BN read the signs of times, take heart and do what it takes to change? Will the Opposition coalition do their utmost best as promised, now that they have the peoples' mandate? We'll observe from now till the next election in four to five years time. And, will again exercise our voting rights! Do not underestimate Peoples' Power - the voters have decided yesterday and will again decide the next round!

Hooray, democracy does thrive in our beloved country, Malaysia! :)

Read more at Malaysia Central and International Herald Tribune

Last edited: March 10, 2008

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