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"A more careful analysis, however, showed a rather disturbing picture for the ruling party."
- Idlan Zakaria

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Malaysia

Election analysis from an ordinary Malaysian
by Idlan R. Zakaria, 22, Selangor, Malaysia
Dec 7, 1999

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But within days of announcing the dissolution of the Parliament, another furore broke out. The Election Comissions announced that those who had registered for elections in the current year's election registration drive were not eligible to vote. This had been the norm in the past, and because in the past, there was a lack of pressing issues that fuelled public outcry, it was a situation many took for granted. This year, though, it resulted in cries of unfairness and cowardice on the part of the ruling party, since it has become an open secret that most who registered for elections this year were supporters of the Alternative parties.

The whole issue smacked of scandal due to facts like Indonesia, millions and millions more people, being able to register voters within less than a month, and that while Malaysia boasts of the Multimedia Super Corridor, its Elections Comissions, a necessary engine to maintains democracy in the country, has failed to catch up in the IT world. Voters finding their IC numbers assigned to other voters also cried foul. Was it a conspiracy, or was it just inefficiency? As a member of the general public, I don't know.

29 November was the set date for polling, and this was the first time ever only one day was set aside for this purpose. The results were broadcasted live on all four television stations.

The final verdict? Barisan Nasional triumphed once again, securing more seats than they did in the 1995 elections. This ensured them a 2/3 majority in Parliament. A more careful analysis, however, showed a rather disturbing picture for the ruling party. The East Coast state of Trengganu had been 'captured' by PAS, and PAS also retained its hold on neighbouring Kelantan despite war cries of BN coming back made by the State BN chief and the Prime Minister.

While the Southern states of Johor, Malacca and Negeri Sembilan remained a BN stronghold (with a clean sweep of seats in Johor and Negeri Sembilan), other West Coast states were beginning to be infiltrated by the opposition. Selangor and Perak, two states which, all this while, were 'owned' by BN saw its prominent leaders toppled at the ballot box, losing to opposition parties. Kedah, the home state of Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, also saw PAS making a strong stand.

The final outcome

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