Monday, May 6, 2013

A Result With No Winners

In a result that satisfied no one, the Barisan Nasional (National Front), Malaysia's ruling coalition since independence, has retained control of parliament after winning a hard-fought election. However, the devil is in the details.

Although BN won, you would never have known that if you just looked at by Prime Minister Najib Razak when he held the press conference yesterday. A somber Najib concede that there had been a swing against BN and the final tally echoed his words. The BN won 133 seats, a majority in the 222-member parliament, but it was well below the 148 needed for the two-third majority and below the 140 BN won in 2008. Worse was that for the first time in history, the BN did not win the popular vote. Only 49% of the voters voted for BN.

In 2008, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did not last a year when he failed to get the two-third majority. Najib didn't get the two-third majority, lost seats and lost the popular vote. Frankly, he would be a dead man walking if not for the fact that there's no ready replacement for him in UNMO.

For opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, the results would probably means the end of his leadership of the opposition. For all the allegations of fraud, even if they are true, the final results of 133 to 89 is just too wide to contest. You can question the margin of victory, not who won. Anwar had already said he would resign as leader if he lost the election and there's no reason for him to go back on his word now. He successfully put the Malaysian opposition back on the map in 2008 and the result this year, even if it's not as good as hoped, has been further success for the opposition.

In short, neither Najib or Anwar won. Neither party got what they truly wanted. The Malaysia Election of 2013 is one that no one won. 


Anonymous said...

What are the odds?
4 blackouts in 4 separate states, where the opposition was leading in vote count.
How low down can one get?
What did PAP learn?

Ghost said...

Dirty but the wide margin of victory means in the end, it didn't mean much. It's was the BN's victory.

Anonymous said...

Maybe i am guiltyof reading too much into it... but if you notice in the press conference, Najib was seated almost all the way to the right, where traditionally, the main speaker of a press conference sits in the middle of the table.

And the one in the middle (actually, off centre), is Muhyddin. In that sense, i think it might signal that Muhyddin may already have an upper hand in umno after the dismal BN results.