It’s the best ever result in history.
It’s also the best possible combination.
(A sad day for Pak Lah. A good day for Malaysia. Photo: NST)
1. Denial of BN’s parliamentary two-thirds, but no one single opposition party dominates others:
Keadilan 30 seats (18% in popular votes)
DAP 28 seats (17% in popular votes)
PAS 22 seats (11% in popular votes)
2. Five state governments with dominance rather evenly shared amongst three parties:
Kelantan (45) – PAS (38) + Keadilan (1)
Kedah (36) – PAS (16) + Keadilan (4) + DAP (1)
Penang (40) – DAP (19) + Keadilan (10)
Perak (59) – DAP (18) + Keadilan (7) + PAS (6)
Selangor (56) – DAP (13) + Keadilan (15) + PAS (8) (seats updated)
3. Great showing in two other states:
a. denial of BN’s two-third in Negeri Sembilan state assembly (36): DAP (10) + Keadilan (4) + PAS (1)
b. near clean-sweep in Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (11 parliamentary seats): DAP (5) + Keadilan (4) + PAS (1)
Unless the opposition is so foolish to spoil it, expect a full alternation of power in five year’s time.
It is good that it does not happen immediately for the opposition needs time to learn governing the country. Many opposition fumble after toppling authoritarian regime, which leads to political disillusion amongst citizens and the failure to establish healthy political competition. The reformer soon becomes the subject of reform. The closest example is Taiwan.
I don’t trust the opposition, after being left in political wilderness for decades, can resist the temptation of power. The cause of electoral reform may just end here if the opposition believes they can be the beneficiary of the existing manipulations.
I am therefore glad that the swing is just good enough, not overwhelming.
Some people suggests that the opposition may even form the federal government now if Anwar can lure the Sarawakian and Sabahan BN parties over which respectively win 29 (out of 31) and 23 (out of 25).
If 52 East Malaysian BN parliamentarians switch side, the opposition can form the next government with 132 seats, which exactly overturns the result now.
This will not happen because Anwar cannot be the Prime Minister now and he has tough tasks now in coordinating state governments formation especially in Perak, Penang, and Selangor.
It is undesirable too. If it happens, now or future, it will make the opposition’s pledges to democracy a mockery after all its bashing of “frogs”.
It was wrong for Tengku Razaleigh in 1990 to engineer the defect of PBS after the nomination day and deny the voters real choice. It will be wrong too for Anwar in 2008 to engineer the defect of lawmakers after they winning mandates on BN’s ticket.
It is of course another story if the BN government is brought down in a non-confidence vote in the parliament.