Malaysia's Mahathir claims election win over ruling coalition

10 May, 2018, 00:26 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Elect me again to make Malaysia greater, Najib tells electorate

"We want a party for all races", said Agnes Yap, a bank employee, after she voted in a Kuala Lumpur suburb.

In the election runup, opposition leaders and civil society groups have complained that measures such as gerrymandering have tilted the poll in BN's favor. Its running of the election has been criticized by both opposition and ruling party figures.

Malaysia's opposition hopes a surge of support from disillusioned members of the country's Muslim majority can carry them to an unlikely victory in Wednesday's elections. "You can not take me to court for saying that". It's unclear how many voters have been affected.

He says "the process is not efficient enough", adding, "it's not the voters' fault". Results were expected in the late evening.

The title of Razak's blog, "The Right Choice to Make Malaysia Greater", is similar to Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign slogan "Make America Great Again".

With almost 15 million registered voters, polls opened at 00:00 GMT on Wednesday across the country and closed at 09:00 GMT.

Election officials say turnout has hit 55 percent by 1 Malaysia's general election. "I just pray that the returning officer will accept hand-carried postal votes".

Najib, who has been in power since 2009, cast his ballot in the city of Pekan.

They will be the leaders' final speeches before polls open on Wednesday at 0000 GMT.

Malaysian elections have always been plagued by allegations of fraud and as voting got underway, both opposition leaders and senior BN members claimed their phones had been jammed by spam calls in an attempt to stop them communicating with their teams.

A crowd of cameramen and photographers jostled for space as a smiling Mahathir, 92, entered the polling booth and waited for his turn to vote. "People are for people".

Several key roads in the heart of the capital were blocked off by police amid growing evidence that Prime Minister Najib Razak's coalition was on the back foot and could lose power for the first time since Malaysia's independence six decades ago. "These people are good people who will ensure a good government, not like Najib's government", Mahathir told reporters after casting his vote.

MALAYSIA'S opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan (PH) have claimed an unofficial victory in Malaysia's crucial general election, according to opposition leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib said the campaign was "quite vicious in the content of the personal attacks which doesn't reflect a mature democracy".

But the opposition is without an overt attraction for religiously minded voters after an Islamic-based party split from the alliance in 2015, at a time when religious conservatism is gaining ground among Malaysia's Muslims. He said, "It must be based on facts, it must be based on policy, it must be based on who can execute the best plan for the nation and for the people".

"This is a big day for Malaysia as this is when we decide our future", said cardiologist Hasri Samion at a polling station in central Kuala Lumpur.

Voting has begun in a fiercely contested Malaysian election that pits an opposition led by former authoritarian leader Mahathir Mohamad against the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose image has been sullied by corruption allegations and an unpopular goods and services tax.

His party postponed an evening news conference until Thursday morning and said Najib, who has ruled the Southeast Asian country for almost 10 years, would address the media at 11:00 on Thursday (11 p.m. ET, Wednesday).



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