Saturday, March 8, 2008

Upset for ruling coalition in Malaysia elections - Al Jazeera

Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi appears to have been returned to power in general elections, but there have been major swings against his ruling coalition.

Significantly they have come from the minority ethnic Chinese and Indian vote. The Indians had staged rare protests in Malaysia over what they say was discrimination.

The result will severely dent the ruling coalition's majority in Parliament, and could change forever the dynamics of Malaysian politics.

PM's post-election press conference -

Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi speaks at a press conference at Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur after the Election Commission announced that the coalition has won a simple majority in the 12th general election.

Malaysian election facts and figures - AP

Facts and figures on Malaysia's general elections Saturday.


CONTESTANTS: Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's National Front coalition is facing three opposition groups—the People's Justice Party, Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party and Democratic Action Party—and various independent candidates.


WHAT'S AT STAKE: 222 seats in Parliament and 505 state legislature seats. The National Front has already won eight parliamentary seats and three state seats uncontested, while the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party won one state seat.


SYSTEM: About 11 million people in this country of 27 million are registered voters. Voting is not mandatory.


RESULTS: Parliamentary seats are key because the party or coalition that has a majority forms the federal government for the next five years. The prime minister is by tradition the head of the winning side. The National Front has won every general election since independence from Britain in 1957. It also controls all the state legislatures except in northeastern Kelantan state, which has been ruled by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party since 1990.


Malaysians Cast Their Ballots Today - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 (Bernama) -- Malaysians go out to the polling booths Saturday to discharge their responsibility as citizens in the 12th general election which is expected to return the Barisan Nasional (BN) to lead the government for the next five years.

A total of 10.9 million registered voters are eligible to choose the elected representatives for 214 of the 222 parliamentary seats and 501 of the 505 State Legislative Assembly seats nationwide except for Sarawak which is only involved in the election for parliamentary seats.

The Election Commission (EC) opened 7,950 polling centres throughout the country, with 21,822 polling streams, which mostly involve schools, multipurpose halls and longhouses from 8am until 5pm.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will be voting at Sekolah Kebangsaan Permatang Batas, Kepala Batas while Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will do so at Sekolah Menengah Sains Sultan Ahmad Shah, Pekan.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman expects about 75 per cent of the registered voters to cast their votes.

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Tireless Khir may have saved the day - The Star

By Dharmender Singh

KLANG: The concerted effort by the Opposition in Selangor looks likely to have been thwarted, thanks largely to the endeavours of state Barisan Nasional chief Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo.

Dr Khir spent less than three days campaigning in his own Sungai Panjang seat since the state assembly was dissolved on Feb13. Instead, he has travelled the length and breadth of the state to either rally forces or put out the fires caused by the change of candidates.

It was the healing of rifts within component parties following the change of candidates that gave Dr Khir the most headaches.

He took a few hours yesterday to step back and observe the situation.

“The black areas have turned grey and the grey areas are turning white. These changes have come day by day.

“But I am confident that we will not only keep the two-thirds majority in the state but also retain the seats we won in the last general election,” he declared.

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