BN fared worse this time around compared to 2008. The number of its parliamentary seats dwindled to 133 from 140. As for state legislative assemblies, the figure was even less impressive with 275 compared to 306 previously although the ruling coalition managed to recapture Kedah and legitimise its control over Perak.
For the first time since the 1969 general election, BN garnered less popular votes than the opposition. I agree with debaters who asserted that this is not a “Chinese tsunami” given the fact that the BN’s performance had also worsened in Malay majority states such as Terengganu.
“Please accept the results.” That was the closing remark of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in his media conference when accepting the Barisan Nasional’s victory in the 13th general elaction at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Briefly, my preliminary observation is BN cannot be proud or, more so, swollen-headed with its achievement because prior to this it had boasted openly about winning big and securing a two-third majority in the Dewan Rakyat and recapturing states held by the Pakatan Rakyat.
Instead, its achievement is worse than in the 2008 GE because the PR had succeeded in penetrating Johor and won more seats in Sarawak – two states deemed as BN’s fixed deposit – and won additional seats in state legislative assemblies nationwide.
Although the PR had failed in its “Ubah” and “Ini Kalilah” campaign to wrest control of the Federal Government, the pact had nevertheless expanded its presence to all states.
BN had successfully recaptured Kedah and defended Perak, but failed in its attempt to win back Selangor and Kelantan although its propaganda machinery had given the impression that Selangor was already in its hand and there were hopes of winning Kelantan.
With regard to Selangor, its defeat is a major slap in the face for being so boastful.
Penang needs no mention. Both the Gerakan and MCA were totally destroyed.
The bait Najib put before the Chinese produced no results. They openly rejected BN.
Najib was stunned by the outcome and promised changes to Umno. But the poor showing compared to 2008 has made his position vulnerable.
Also, is the outcome of this general election a “tsunami Cina” (Chinese tsunami) as Najib had described them or were they the manifestation of something more significant i.e. a large number of voters no longer accept the BN and the BN-led government as it exists today?
Is it not possible that this is not a Chinese tsunami or ethnic chauvinism but instead a Malaysian tsunami that is based on new aspirations and reality, especially among the young voters?
Although BN has recaptured Kedah, its strength in all state legislative assemblies had fallen.
It almost lost Terengganu as well as surrendered many seats to PR in all states.
On the PR side, it must accept the choice of voters and any dissatisfaction and dispute must be settled in accordance with laws and regulations, and not via street protests.
Wallahualam. – Akadirjasin.blogspot.com/akadirjasin.com.
> A. Kadir Jasin is Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd