Today is the day when Malaysians decide if they will continue with the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, or take a chance with a new government that will be led by opposite leader and former finance minister Anwar Ibrahim. It is a vote, an election, that everyone is looking at because for the first time since independence, there is a real chance that there will be a change in government in Malaysia.
If that does happened, the BN has no one to blame but themselves.
In the last election in 2008, the opposition made startling electoral gains that gave them control of 4 states in Malaysia. Hit with accusations of corruption and cronyism, the BN lost its two-thirds majority in parliament. Fast forward 5 years, and the main accusation against BN this time round is... corruption and cronyism!
To be fair, the BN know about the problem they are facing. Prime Minister Najib Razak had gave out billions in cash handouts to shore up support for BN and he even waited till the end of the term before calling for the election. The Malaysian government's control over traditional media is also ironclad so that is a huge advantage for BN.
However, it says a lot that even with all these advantages, there is a real chance the opposition might be the next government of Malaysia. The opposition pledge to clean up politics and end race-based policies has been a hit with Malaysian voters and some analysts believe that they would end up with more seats this time around. The question is whether they would have enough to be the next Malaysian government.
If Anwar and the opposition managed to do so, then the BN has no one to blame but themselves. The BN knew what the problem is but has been unable or unwilling to do anything about it. They have not learned from their mistake and losses in 2008. For that alone, I will not be surprised if Anwar Ibrahim becomes the next Prime Minister of Malaysia.