Mar 8, 2008 will be engrained as a historic day in Malaysian politics where for the first time in 50 years, the ruling coalition government Barisan Nasional (BN) failed to win a two third mandate from the people (Rakyat) in the country’s 12th General Election. It was also the first time, the opposition coalition comprising mainly of PKR, DAP and PAS won the right to form the state government in 5 out of 13 states.
It was truly a most unexpected result. There was mixed feelings from the out-come of the election. But the best description for the political atmosphere was that both the ruling government and the opposition were equally shell shocked. The BN did not expect to lose so many seats while the opposition did not expect to win so many seats, let alone winning 5 states.
Where billions of Ringgit had been spent on the campaigning, the ruling government was left wondering where did all the money go? What happened and where did it all go wrong? Initial comments from some BN candidates blamed it on the internet and the bloggers. There were also comments from certain quarters that the opposition spread lies and told the Rakyat only what they want to hear. Trying to find excuses for the shortcomings which the government had, was the very reason why the BN has lost so many seats. To continue in this manner would not help the BN but would plunge it further down in an abyss which it may never climb back up.
It is high time BN stop looking for excuses and start working towards becoming a clean, transparent and efficient government. Drastic reformation is needed to restore the Rakyat’s confidence and 5 years is a very short time. The sooner the BN starts working, the better the chance they have of winning back the Rakyat.
The Opposition maybe feeling euphoric with the historical wins in the 5 states but did they really win all the seats based on their hard work and ideology? Absolutely not! Until the last minute, the Opposition was still disorganised and was desperately fielding unknown and untested candidates due to the lack of choice. The ‘loose’ alliance which the Opposition lacked unity and a common ideology. It was a miracle that the Opposition performed so well.
The Opposition won so many seats purely because the Rakyat had enough.
The 12th General Election Results was a wake up call from the Rakyat.
This wake up call should be for both BN and the Opposition that they have to do much better if they want the Rakyat’s support in the next elections.