How Malaysians have matured

Salleh Said Keruak

In the 1999 general election, there was a wave of support towards the opposition but many, especially the non-Malays, voted Barisan Nasional because they were worried that if they voted opposition there would be trouble. In fact, there was ‘strong talk’ that if Barisan lost its two-thirds majority in parliament there would be a repeat of what happened in 1969.

In 2008, Barisan Nasional did lose its two-thirds majority in parliament but there was no trouble. And this month Barisan lost the federal government and many state governments and still there was no trouble. Malaysians are actually more mature than we give them credit for.

Even more important is that Barisan Nasional is also mature enough to gracefully accept defeat and respect the will of the people. The people have spoken and suara rakyat is suara keramat. What Barisan needs to do now is to prove to the people that it is a credible opposition and worthy enough to return as the government in the future.