Sign up | Log in



Home  >>  Daily News  >>  Malaysia News  >> Politics >> Malaysia ruling party loses in Borneo ballot

17 May 2010

Malaysia ruling party loses in Borneo ballot

Related Stories

May 13, 2010
Sports betting is now legal in Malaysia

May 6, 2010
Malaysia government’s nuclear plan draws strong criticism

April 29, 2010
Malaysia: Kickbacks alleged in submarine purchase deal

April 27, 2010
Malaysia: Ruling party wins by-election, boosting reform agenda

April 25, 2010
By-election seen as test for Malaysian ruling coalition

April 23, 2010
Malaysia: Opposition leader faces suspension from parliament

Malaysia's opposition stunned the ruling coalition Sunday with an electoral victory in a Borneo island state that has long been a government stronghold, reported the Associated Press.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's alliance narrowly wrested a parliamentary seat in the riverside town of Sibu in Sarawak state, where Prime Minister Najib Razak's National Front ruling coalition has enjoyed decades of support among the state's main population of indigenous tribes.

The state is politically crucial because Anwar's three-party alliance needs to win more parliamentary seats there if it wants to achieve its aim of seizing federal power in general elections expected before 2013.

The opposition won the seat by a razor-thin majority of 398 votes out of nearly 38,000 ballots cast, the Election Commission said. The result does not change the balance of power in Parliament, but it indicates the opposition could be gaining a long-elusive foothold in Sarawak.

Most constituencies in Sarawak comprise tribal communities that have traditionally voted for the National Front. Sibu has been under the National Front's control for many years, but two-thirds of its voters are minority ethnic Chinese, who have increasingly accused the ethnic Malay Muslim-dominated government of racial discrimination.

Lim Kit Siang, a senior opposition official, called it "a Sibu miracle."

The National Front had been expected to receive a strong boost after Najib made an unexpected visit Saturday to Sibu, which the ruling coalition won in 2008 general elections with a 3,235-vote majority.

The prime minister pledged to spend 5 million ringgit ($1.5 million) for infrastructure to curb flash floods in Sibu, in addition to funding worth 15 million ringgit ($4.5 million) he had earlier promised for Chinese-language schools.

"It is not because of the by-election, but because we are listening to you," Najib told voters at a campaign rally.

The Sibu seat became vacant after the Front's incumbent died of cancer. Najib's coalition won the last similar special election in peninsular Malaysia last month, bolstering his efforts to regain support for the government.

In the 2008 national elections, the National Front lost more than one-third of the parliamentary seats to the opposition amid complaints of corruption and discrimination against minorities in economic policies.


Comment on this Article. Send them to
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below 





1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

| Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy  | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2006-2021 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand