Control of Malaysia’s parliament changes for the first time

May 10, 2018

“IT IS beautiful!” shrieks one opposition supporter at a rally celebrating Malaysia’s change of government. The gold teeth revealed by his huge smile flash in the spotlights at a park in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. “This time they did it!” adds another. “We have waited so long,” explains a local businesswoman, “we wanted change and now we are so excited!” The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the party which has ruled Malaysia since independence, no longer runs the country. Its boss Najib Razak, the incumbent prime minister, lost to a man who not only once led his party, but also his country: Mahathir Mohamad. The 92-year-old switched allegiance to head the Pakatan Harapan (PH), an alliance of opposition parties. In elections on May 9th the underdogs triumphed over the ruling coalition led by UMNO, the Barisan Nasional (BN). With an estimated turnout of 76% of Malaysia’s 14.4m eligible voters—down from almost 85% at the last election five years ago—PH and its allies managed to win 122 of the...

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