Malaysia GE 2018: What everyone is saying

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Obbana Rajah

As the tallying of the votes for Malaysia’s General Election came to an end earlier today, and the results came as a shock to some, but not so much to others.
Here are the reactions and overall consensus:

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: “Many Singaporeans would have followed the news about the Malaysian election yesterday. It is clear that the outcome represents a major change in Malaysian politics. We are now awaiting the formation of a new government.

We are following the situation closely. As Malaysia’s closest neighbour, we have a vested interest in Malaysia’s stability and prosperity. While Malaysian politics are for Malaysians to decide, Singapore wishes Malaysia all the best in its political development. Singapore has enjoyed good relations and close cooperation with Malaysia for many years, with successive Malaysian leaders. We look forward to developing an equally constructive relationship with the next Malaysian government, and to work with it to take our bilateral ties forward and benefit both our peoples. – LHL”

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam: “A clear vote for change in Malaysia. And it was across the board – Malays, Chinese, Indians and even the Dayaks in Sarawak. Wish Malaysia well, and hope we continue to work together for mutual good of our people.”

Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin: “Stunning results in the Malaysian GE!
Our Malaysian friends have made their choice and spoken out decisively. Congratulations!
We look forward to working with the new Government and leaders, and to continue to strengthen the friendship and cooperation between our two countries.
We wish Malaysia well.”

International Media:

Bangkok Post: “It was a stunning triumph that almost no one had predicted and ended the long hold on power of the Barisan Nasional (BN, National Front) coalition, which has ruled Malaysia since its birth as an independent country. The victory capped a dramatic political comeback for Mahathir, who previously ruled the country with an iron fist for 22 years, and came out of retirement to taken on Prime Minister Najib Razak after the leader became embroiled in a massive corruption scandal.”

BBC: “This morning Malaysia has woken to an entirely new situation, the first transfer of power in its history, albeit to a very familiar leader. But there are huge unknowns. How willingly will Barisan Nasional, the coalition which has, in various forms, run the country since independence and embedded itself into all areas of governance, relinquish power?”

CNN: “Malaysians will likely be in for days, if not weeks and months, of uncertainty, as a ruling coalition is hashed out and it is decided how and when Mahathir will step aside for Anwar or another opposition figure.”

The Sydney Morning Herald: “Australians will forever recall Mahathir for his “recalcitrant” stoush with Paul Keating in the early 1990s.
Now we, like people around the world, will also know him as the man who finally achieved an unlikely victory by an opposition party in a democratic election in a country that is a near neighbour, ally, and close trading partner.”

The Jakarta Post: “In a huge political upset, Mahathir’s opposition alliance ended the hold on power of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which has governed Malaysia uninterrupted since its birth as an independent country in 1957. It capped a dramatic political comeback for Mahathir, who previously ruled the country with an iron fist for 22 years and came out of retirement to take on Prime Minister Najib Razak after the leader became embroiled in a massive corruption scandal.”

Singaporeans: