The 12th General Election produced unprecedented results for the Oppositions. The opposition managed to deny BN 2/3 majority and managed to wrestle control of Penang, Perak, Kedah and Selangor in addition of retaining Kelantan. Gerakan was virtually wiped out. Barisan strongholds like Negeri Sembilan were won with simple majority. Senior figures in the ruling party were scratching their head on what had happen. In the face of defeat, certain Barisan leaders are still so arrogant as saying that they are baffled at how all this happened, as if a landslide victory is their birth right.
For those who are still not sure how did the opposition managed to obtain such a victory, let me list down the downfall of BN in this GE:
1) The BN led government had isolated minority groups. First, it was Hindraf. The high handed way the government handled the Hindraf rally had led to a lot of dissatisfactions among the Indian Community. Then it was the usage of "Allah" in Christian publications. This is related to a point which I will explain soon. Next, there are those young UMNO punks who started to spit our racist sentiments in order to garner support within their own ranks (remember a certain someone who waived a dagger around during a certain general assembly?). These might be minority groups but a lot of minority groups, simple maths will say that it will hurt you when many small amounts are added together.
2) Corruption. Do I have to say more about this? The Zakaria Palace, the Auditor General's report (RM400 for a set of "Made in China" Screwdrivers?), the Linggam tape (looks like me, sounds like me but its not me). The Linggam tape, in my opinion, had indeed caused a lot damage among the educated professional voters especially lawyers. The Linggam tape was solid, tangible prove of violation of our country's constitution and a disrespect of the Judiciary. And when this tape came out, a panel was not set to investigate the contents of the tape, but it is to determine the "authenticity" of the tape. You go figure.
3) Barisan leaders underestimated the power of the new information age. The opposition understood that to reach out to swing votes consisting of young educated adults, the best way is through the internet. DAP manage to pull off the coup of the season when Jeff Ooi joined the party and was fielded as a candidate for the Jelutong Constituency. Besides Jeff, bloggers like Raja Petra, Rocky and Malik Imtaz was an oasis for information deprived young voters. BN components were still relying on old school, state-controlled mass media to send out their message not realizing that the new generation of voters are more educated, more well informed to see through the misinformation that is being disseminated.
4) Rising fuel prices, cost of living. A deeper analysis will show that Malay votes played a very big part in the oppositions success story. Look at Cheras, YB Tan Kok Wai won by 28,300 majority. Teresa Kuok won by 30,000 odd majority. This proves that Malays in urban areas did not hesitate to give their "ayes" to DAP which traditionally is implied as a Chinese party. What caused this change of wind among the urban Malay voters? I was on a Taxi to a clients office on Thursday and the sentiments of the cabbie says it all," Tak kisah, siapa lah. Asalkan dapat turun harga bagus. Itu UMNO cakap tolong Melayu, aku cakap sama dia l*n j*ao la!!! Dia tolong sama dia punya krony saje. Minyak naik, toll naik, tepung naik apa pun naik. Macam mana orang kita ni nak hidup?"
5) The PM Pak Lah. BN won by a landslide during the last election mainly is due to Pak Lah. After the authoritarian rule of Dr M, Pak Lah was indeed a breath of fresh air. A Islamic Scholar with a squeeky clean image who vowed to fight graft. After 4 years, he did not live up to his promises. What had he done on the Zakaria case? The Auditor General's Report? Linggam? Altantuya? His performance even makes people wonder who is really in charge of the country (the U-turn on the usage of the word "Allah" issue is a prime example). Is Najib in charge or is it the prodigal Son-in-Law??? Some might argue that Pak Lah did make spot checks on governement departments to ensure efficiency and reduce red tape. This might look good on camera but this is the job of his ministers and secretary generals of various departments, not a job a PM should be concern with. This might sound cliche but PM has bigger fishes to fry.
After all that is said, it can be concluded that Malaysia is at the dawn of a new era. The opposition is in control of the 2 most industrialized state in the country (Lim Guan Eng addressed as Y.A.B., i really had to pinch myself to make sure that i am not dreaming). BN does not have the 2/3 majority in parliament. Where will this lead the nation to? Will BN try to sabotage whatever effort that the opposition do to deliver on its promises? Or will BN work with the opposition to redeemed the confidence of Malaysians? These are questions that can only be answered in time. All we can do know is that this new political landscape will be a catalyst for a better future for all Malaysians.