At a rally on the southern outskirts of Kuala Lumpur Wednesday night, 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad declared victory in Malaysia’s elections, a result confirmed the next morning. Mahathir’s victory brought an end to the six-decade dominance of the Barisan Nasional (BN), a coalition of parties led by the United Malays National Organization — a group that Mahathir himself once headed. Mahathir was celebrating in the capital, but his victory was forged in the countryside, where the United Malays National Organization has long had a powerful grip on rural voters, especially ethnic Malays, maintained through a decades-long web of favors, benefits, subsidies, and political appointments. But trust in that system has frayed thanks both to mismanagement at the top and incompetence at the bottom, leaving Malaysia’s rural poor turning away from the party they’d helped keep in power for decades.
Articles about voting issues in Malaysia.
t there are no “tricks up their sleeves” in the vote counting process. “The rakyat are waiting and we understand, give us some time to give an official result when everything is confirmed,” its chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah (pic) said at a press conference chaired by top EC officials on Thursday. He added that news about unofficial results were from party agents on duty at polling centres and were unverified. “It is the EC’s responsibility to only issue verified results,” he said.
In a historic election upset in a country that has been governed by just one coalition for decades, a Malaysian opposition bloc led by the 92-year-old former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad swept to a majority in national parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is accused of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in government funds, gave an emotional national address on Thursday, saying that he would “accept the verdict of the people.” But the election’s result has not yet been settled. The country’s king must now rule on who will be the next prime minister, as the loose coalition of opposition parties led by Mr. Mahathir is not officially recognized as a single political entity.
Malaysia: Politicians claim phones hacked; probe shows spam calls from unknown bot attack | The Straits Times
Malaysian politicians on Wednesday (May 9) say their mobile phones have been hacked and are being spammed by calls allegedly originating from the United States.
“BN leaders’ handphones have been under technical attack since morning,” said Barisan Nasional (BN) Strategic Communications director Datuk Seri Rahman Dahlan.
“Calls from overseas keep coming in every few seconds! To prevent us from communicating with our machinery,” tweeted the Sepanggar parliamentary candidate.
“My phone seems to be under some form of spam attack this morning. Strange,” Barisan Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who is defending his Rembau parliamentary seat, tweeted on Wednesday morning (May 9), with a screenshot of these calls.
“Sorry to friends who couldn’t reach me and please call my PA (personal assistant) Mr Beh for any urgency (sic),” he posted on Facebook, with accompanying screenshots.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak condemned the “spam calls” received by BN leaders, and said that many of the coalition’s websites could not be accessed.
“I have ordered for immediate action to be taken,” the prime minister said on Twitter.
Malaysian civil rights group Suaram said the spam calls, which have also affected civil society group leaders, was a “clear attempt to impede the work of human rights defenders and politicians at the critical juncture of voting day”, Reuters reported.
Malaysia: Malaysia’s election is a strange brew of ‘fake news,’ Cambridge Analytica and a 92-year-old autocrat-turned-reformer | Los Angeles Times
With police investigating him under Malaysia’s new anti-“fake news” law, Mahathir Mohamad, the nearly 93-year-old former prime minister turned opposition frontman, says his country faces its dirtiest election on Wednesday. The governing coalition “will cheat like mad, they will steal votes, but still I think we can win,” Mahathir said in an interview with The Times, stepping off a makeshift stage and into a nearby BMW waiting to take him to yet another campaign rally. Defying his age, Mahathir had just wrapped up a half-hour stump speech in this farming area about a 20-mile drive from Aloh Setar, the capital of Kedah state, his home base. Kedah has typically been a government stronghold, although the green flags of Malaysia’s Islamist party also flutter along its roadsides. Mahathir wants to swing the state, and enough rural Muslim Malays across the country, to his four-party opposition grouping known as the Alliance of Hope.
When the date of the general election was revealed, the outcry was swift. Tradition in Malaysia is for elections to be held over the weekend, giving the many people who have migrated to the big cities time to return to their towns and villages to vote. But on the morning of April 10, Malaysia’s Election Commission announced voting would take place on May 9 ― a weekday. The last time it was scheduled midweek was the country’s first election in 1959. For a population that has grown frustrated by high-level corruption scandals, the rising cost of living, and what many see as a lack of accountability from the world’s longest-ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Najib Razak, the announcement was a tipping point.
Malaysia’s opposition parties have never come close to winning a majority of seats in a national election, even in 2013 when their total vote exceeded the ruling coalition. That year, the ruling National Front won 47 percent of votes but 60 percent of the seats in Parliament. The party has advantages in this election too. Opposition parties and activists have long complained they’re unable to compete on equal terms. Here are some reasons why: Not every vote is equal. Multi-ethnic urban seats, which lean toward the opposition, generally have much higher numbers of voters than those dominated by rural majority Malays, who traditionally support the National Front. That means it takes fewer votes to elect a government lawmaker than it does to elect an opposition lawmaker. Tindak, a group lobbying for reform of the electoral system, says one third of voters decide half of the seats. These distortions are particularly evident in the thinly populated states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, which together elect a quarter of seats in Parliament.
Electoral watchdog groups in Malaysia said the voter list for next week’s general election had major flaws, including the existence of a 121-year-old voter, raising the spectre of possible fraud. About 15 million Malaysians are registered to vote in next Wednesday’s (May 9) election pitting Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional coalition, which has ruled for six decades, against a resurgent opposition led by former leader Mahathir Mohamad. A joint study of the voters’ rolls by electoral reform groups Bersih and Engage found more than 500,000 cases of voters registered with the same address, while more than two million were found to have no address. The groups highlighted 10 major irregularities they said affected hundreds of thousands of voters nationwide.
Malaysians will go to the polls on May 9 in the country’s 14th general election. This is the most hotly contested election in Malaysia’s history, pitting the scandal ridden incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak against a coalition led by former political enemies: former prime minister Mahathir Mohammed, who is 92 years old, and his former deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, whom Mahathir had imprisoned. Anwar is once again in prison, on more trumped up charges, and is unable to contest the election, instead endorsing his former boss, who quit the ruling UMNO party that he led for 22 years in what he claims to be disgust over Najib’s corruption. Mahathir has since apologized for sacking Anwar, but make no mistake: this election is about strange bedfellows.
Campaigning for Malaysia’s May 9 general election began on Saturday, pitting Prime Minister Najib Razak against his former mentor Mahathir Mohamad in a contest marred by claims of sabotage and a skewed electoral system. Najib leads his undefeated ruling coalition into arguably its toughest election since independence from Britain in 1957. He is grappling with a multi-billion-dollar scandal at a state fund, public anger over living costs and an unprecedented challenge by the 92-year-old Mahathir. Mahathir, returning to politics after retiring 15 years ago, will stand in the holiday island of Langkawi. Prime minister for 22 years before stepping down in 2003, Mahathir returned to challenge Najib after a billion-dollar scandal at state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).