Sunday 9 March 2008

The people of Malaysia have decided, enough is enough.

A Slap in the face for Barisan Nasional, and the ineffectual leader of UMNO


Hearty Congratulations to the following bloggers who won in the General Election, Jeff Ooi, Elizabeth Wong, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Tony Pua, and to Badrul Hisham Shaharin (Che'Gu Bard), warmest congratulations to you too, you did a really great job in Rembau.

The ruling BN coalition in Malaysia has suffered its worst election result in decades by winning only a simple majority, according to the official results from the Election Commission.

Caretaker Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's BN coalition lost not only its two thirds Parliamentary majority, it also failed to win back Kelantan State and lost control of four other State Legislative Assemblies.

Corruption, greed, self enrichment, arrogance and totally loosing touch with the common man, as well as racial discrimination which has caused ethnic tensions, a great increase in the crime, and lack of law enforcement; corruption and inflation were some of the reasons for a drop in support for BN.

The peoples’ message was loud and clear:

“Now is the time for change in Malaysia.”

The BN won 137 out of 219 seats, with three results, for Sabah constituencies, still to come in, the Election Commission said. (Update BN won the three remaining seats, all in Sabah, giving them a total of 140))

KPR, the Peoples Justice Party won 31 seats out of the opposition's 82 so far, according to the EC website, here

The caretaker PM, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who has been PM since 2003, said he would meet the King on Monday and request the Royal Assent to form a new government, as BN have won with only a simple majority.

He dismissed suggestions that he would now face pressure from party members to step down; however that is clearly a distinct possibility.

His son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, who won in the Rembau, Negeri Sembilan Parliamentary after a recount, (this was a ‘strange’ result, as it had been a close call, hence the need for a recount; initially Ghe'guBard was reported to be leading by a small number of votes, hence the recount and the plot thickened when Khairy eventually with a 5,000+ vote majority!) was reported to have told reporters:

"We suffered a lot of losses tonight. But we are going to fight on. We are not going to quit. It is not the end of the world and we are going to get through this."

It is not clear to whom the “We” referred too!

It was clear, during the weeks and months prior to the election, that the winds of change were blowing strongly against BN, but with their 'holier than thou' attitude, and ingrained arrogance, self centeredness and lack of real understanding of the situation, BN had failed to read the clear signals that they were heading for a rough ride in the elections.

Some commentators had predicted that the opposition to do very well. Outspoken critic of BN, Raja Petra, who has a blog called 'Malaysia Today' had gone on record to report that the opposition would do well across the board, and his forecast was quite accurate.

It is clear that the people of Malaysia wanted change and many of Malay majority; as well as Chinese and Indian ethnic minority voters deserted BN, which had ruled the roost with a 2/3 majority in Parliament throughout for 50 years, ever since independence from Britain.

Before these elections only one state was under opposition control, Kelantan.

The Election Commission confirmed opposition retention of control of Kelantan State, as well as wins in the States of Selangor, Perak, Kedah and Penang which had previously been under BN control. In Terengganu BN won by a wafer the thin margin of only two seats, and BN won in the State of Negeri Sembilan, but with only a narrow majority.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who is barred from politics until next month and therefore could not stand for election, but is nevertheless is the de-facto leader of PKR, said the people of Malaysia had spoken loudly and clearly.

"Today at the ballot box, you listened to your heart with a lot of conviction that the time for change has arrived..."

"This is a defining moment, unprecedented in our nation's history. Today a new chapter has opened." he said.

The last time BN suffered such a big setback, was in 1969, and this resulted in the 13 May racial riots, dozens of deaths and a two year state of emergency.

Thankfully there is no sign of such riots being repeated, but there is a real fear that tension and anger may erupt, so the next few days will be understandably rather tense.

On election day, yesterday, some violence linked to the election was reported in the east coast State of Terengganu, where police said they had fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of several hundred people protesting at what they saw as an attempt to bus-in phantom voters by the BN, for an attempt at vote-rigging. The police spokesman said that 22 people had been arrested.

This election is a watershed, may it bring an end to ethnic based politics in Malaysia, the Coalition of opposition parties are multi ethnic and multi religious, that is how the governance of Malaysia should be from now on.

Congratulations Malaysia on your ‘coming of age’ let true democracy and freedom, equality for all, peace and harmony prevail.

Viva! Viva! Viva!

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