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"How these two strange bedfellows shared the same bed remains a mystery to me.."
- 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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However, the Opposition still suffered. Reknowned opposition leaders Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh lost their seats, and their party, DAP, lost out to PAS in the number of seats retained. One DAP leader blamed the loss on its alliance with PAS - a long archenemy of the party. DAP, majorly a Chinese party, is against PAS's plans to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state. How these two strange bedfellows shared the same bed remains a mystery to me.

The justice party, Keadilan, also suffered a setback, having believed that more people sympathised with their plight. They won only 5 seats, one of which was won by Wan Azizah, Anwar Ibrahim's wife, and another by Azmin Ali, his former secretary. A smear campaign initiated by the latter's sister failed to have too big an impact on the polls as Azmin wrested the seat from a BN stalwart, Fuad Hassan.

All in all, it looks like Malaysia is set for a very interesting five years ahead. PAS, forever claiming that they too can lead, now have the state of Trengganu for them to manage. The party had control of Kelantan for the last ten years, but have had little development to show for it. PAS leaders attribute this to the fact that Kelantan is a poor state. Trengganu, a state rich with oil and tourism potential, looks like the perfect platform for PAS to prove if they have the mettle to withstand it all and become leaders, or if their bark is fiercer than their bite.

Barisan Nasional looks set to take the appropriate measures to restore public confidence in them.

As for Keadilan, the future seems bleak. The party's success hinged on the public outcry of Anwar Ibrahim's plight, and if he is forgotten, it looks like the party is going to be too.

Oh yes, it's going to be an exciting five years ahead!

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