Pakatan win: The night the earth moved

PHOTO: Reuters

It was a night when the earth moved as one Barisan parliamentary seat after another tumbled and shortly after 11pm last night, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad claimed that Putrajaya had fallen to the Pakatan Harapan coalition.

The 92-year-old leader has stepped into a special place in Malaysian history, making a comeback to the job he left 15 years ago.

The Election Commission (EC) has yet to confirm the results at press time but Pakatan is claiming a simple parliamentary majority of 112 seats.

Speaking at a packed press conference at the Sheraton Hotel, Dr Mahathir also claimed that Kedah, Perak, Negri Sembilan and Melaka, apart from Penang and Selangor, had fallen to Pakatan, bringing an end to the 61-year rule of Barisan Nasional.

For months, surveys and polls had shown an unusually high percentage of Malays who were undecided about who to support in the general election.

Many were puzzled and could not figure out what it meant.

The Chinese voters, on the other hand, had been clear from the start that they were still against Barisan, especially Umno, and everyone could see that it was going to be another Chinese tsunami.

On May 9, the Malays decided to go for change and their combined force brought down the ruling coalition led by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Asked what Malaysia could expect from the shocking outcome, Ibrahim said: "It is a new day. People have to be prepared for new things such as the first woman deputy prime minister. They have to face the changes and be participators in the change."

Ibrahim said two factors led to the result of GE14, the first being economic issues, especially the GST that exacerbates the cost of living pressures of many Malaysians.

Barisan thought that opposition to the 6 per cent Goods and Services Tax implemented in 2015 had settled down but it came boiling to the surface again during the campaign period and especially after Pakatan promised to abolish the tax if it won.

That captured the imagination and support of many ordinary people.

The second factor, said Ibrahim, was the 1MDB issue that clung on to Najib despite numerous explanations.

It was a complicated issue that most people could not grasp but over the last one year, Dr Mahathir simplified it in a few choice words - kleptocracy, robber, thief - and it all seemed to come together for him and his newfound friends in the Opposition.

At press time, the EC had yet to confirm the election results as claimed by Pakatan and EC chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah appealed for the public to be patient for his officers to put together the results of the 222 parliamentary and 505 state seats contested.

Pakatan ceramahs had drawn big crowds but the ground was relatively quiet compared to the heightened air of the 2013 general election.

In fact, the ground was so misleadingly quiet that Barisan was claiming that it could secure as many as 140 seats while Pakatan was the one that had seemed unsure of victory.

As such, it is quite likely that Pakatan was more shocked at winning than Barisan was at losing.

Malaysia is in uncharted territory should the EC confirm Pakatan's claims on the elections result.

The concern among many Malaysians now is that there should be a peaceful transition of power once the EC is able to confirm the results of GE14.

Mahathir scores shocking win in Malaysian Election

  • Pakatan Harapan chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has officially been sworn in as Malaysia's seventh Prime Minister.
  • Dr Mahathir took his oath of office as Prime Minister before Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at the Istana Negara at 9.57pm Thursday (May 10).
  • The 92-year-old was accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah, DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
  • This means that Dr Mahathir will be the world's oldest prime minister and the first Malaysian to be premier twice.
  • At a press conference earlier, Dr Mahathir said he would appoint Dr Wan Azizah as deputy prime minister once he is sworn in.
  • Dr Mahathir received the mandate to form the government through Pakatan, which managed to wrest 113 out of 222 federal seats in GE14.
  • Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad speaks to reporters during a press conference at the Sheraton Petaling Jaya Hotel on 10 May 2018.
  • Mahathir Mohamad holds up a document with the signatures of alliance party leaders naming him as the prime minister during a news conference following the general election in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, May 10, 2018.
  • Najib leaves after a news conference on May 10.
  • Malaysia's outgoing Prime Minister Najib Razak (R) speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 10 May 2018.
  • Mahathir's stunning defeat of the coalition that has ruled the Southeast Asian country since independence from Britain six decades ago means that, at the age of 92, he will become the oldest elected leader in the world.
  • Official results showed that Mahathir's Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) had won 113 of parliament's 222 seats, clinching the simple majority required to rule.
  • Najib's ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), had 79. Pic: Barisan Nasional party members watch election results updates at the Barisan Nasional coalition headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.
  • Supporters of Mahathir Mohamad, former Malaysian prime minister and opposition candidate for Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope), celebrate outside the hotel, where Mahathir Mohamad held news conference, in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, May 10, 2018.
  • Mahathir told a news conference he expected to be sworn in as prime minister later on Thursday.
  • Few had expected Mahathir to prevail against a coalition that has long relied on the support of the country's ethnic-Malay majority.
  • Mahathir has promised to seek a royal pardon for Anwar if they won the election and, once Anwar is free, to step aside and let him become prime minister.
  • Ethnic-Malay Muslims have long tended to support BN for affirmative-action policies that give them government contracts, cheap housing and guaranteed university admissions.
  • Mahathir's alliance, which counts on urban votes and support from the minority ethnic Chinese and Indian communities, had hoped the veteran Malay leader would win over voters usually loyal to BN. That strategy appeared to have paid off.
  • Mahathir's opposition wrested control of key states Johor and Kedah, and reduced BN's grip in strongholds like Sarawak.
  • Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrives at SK Titi Gajah in Alor Setar at 10.55am to cast his vote.
  • The Election Commission said voter turnout was at 55 percent out of the total 14,449,200 voters in GE14 as of 1pm on May 9.
  • Dr Mahathir Mohamad is keeping a positive outlook on voter turnout throughout the day.
  • By 5pm May 9, some 70 per cent of voters had cast their ballots for what has been dubbed "the mother of all elections". The latest polls show a neck-and-neck race to the finish for ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) and opposition pact Pakatan Harapan (PH).
  • Voters still queuing up within the compounds of polling stations nationwide for GE14 were not allowed to vote after the 5pm cut-off time but any voter affected can file a petition to demand a re-election.
  • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib votes at a polling station during the 14th general elections in Pekan on May 9, 2018.
  • Malaysians went to the polls on May 9 in one of the country's closest ever elections which pits scandal-hit Prime Minister Najib Razak against his one-time mentor, a 92-year-old former authoritarian leader.
  • The Barisan Nasional chairman arrived at his polling station Sekolah Sains Sultan Ahmad Shah at 9.20 am together with his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. Najib was all smiles when he was greeted by other voters who were present at the station.
  • 9.29am: PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail voted in SK Seri Penanti in Permatang Pauh. After casting her vote, she immediately left and returned to Selangor where she is contesting for Pandan parliamentary seat there.
  • The Barisan chief is in a four-cornered fight for the Pekan seat. (Pic) Barisan Nasional deputy chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his wife Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis successfully cast their ballots at the Madrasah Manbail Ulum voting centre at Sungai Nipah Darat.
  • Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Datin Seri Lee Sun Loo cast their vote at SK Sulaiman in Bentong.
  • PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who is defending his Marang parliamentary seat, arrives at SK Rusila in Marang to cast his ballot.
  • EC staff making final preparations at a polling station at Stadium Titiwangsa in Kuala Lumpur.
  • An instruction notice for voters is seen at a voting center on the eve of the 14th general election in Pekan, Pahang on May 8, 2018.
  • Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) offers special prayers a day before the 14th general election at a mosque in Pekan, Pahang, Malaysia, May 8, 2018.
  • Women vote during the general election in Alor Setar, Malaysia, May 9, 2018.
  • People boarding buses back to Malaysia. at Singapore's Golden Mile complex on May 8.
  • Supporters listen to a speech by former Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad
  • This picture taken on May 8, 2018 shows Malaysians gathering at an election rally in Petaling Jaya to watch a telecast of 92-year-old former authoritarian leader Mahathir Mohamad.
  • Voters queue up in the early morning to cast their ballots at a polling station during the 14th general election in Alor Setar on May 9, 2018.

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