10 May 2018
An alliance of opposition parties spearheaded by Mahathir Mohamad won Malaysia’s general election, official results showed on Thursday, setting the veteran strongman on course for a return to the prime minister’s Office he occupied for 22 years.
Mahathir’s stunning defeat of the coalition that has ruled the Southeast Asian country since independence from Britain six decades ago means that, at the age of 92, he will become the oldest elected leader in the world.
Ethnic-Malay Muslims have long tended to support BN for affirmative-action policies that give them government contracts, cheap housing and guaranteed university admissions.
Mahathir’s alliance, which counts on urban votes and support from the minority ethnic Chinese and Indian communities, had hoped the veteran Malay leader would win over voters usually loyal to BN. That strategy appeared to have paid off.
“There has been a significant shift in the Malay vote,” said Rashaad Ali, an analyst with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
Mahathir’s opposition wrested control of key states Johor and Kedah, and reduced BN’s grip in strongholds like Sarawak.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 10/05/2018